“Because I’m leaving
on a jet plane…”
that could kill me.
Please don’t plummet to the Earth
at 300 miles per hour.
I want to believe humans are meant to fly.
We end up building our wings
instead of being born with them.
Don’t we have to earn everything
we’re not born with?
I know without flight, I would have never
heard the guards shush people in the Sistine Chapel.
Those men are still gods to me.
Not only are they divine creatures
for putting up with tourists,
they are there to protect that heavenly ceiling
from unnecessary noise,
flashes of light,
the breaths of millions who remember only
how God created Adam.
Without flight, I would have never been held
under a stone at the top of Blarney Castle.
Hands that held hundreds before me,
yet I didn’t trust.
Two widely spaced bars and a stranger’s grip
were all that stopped me from plunging
head first and backwards onto the lush green below.
I pressed a kiss to my palm and reached for the stone.
With the same hand, I patted the arm of the man
who kept me from dying. Perhaps he knew
I didn’t need or want the gift of gab.
Without a jet plane, I never would have experienced
the happiest place on Earth, once I finally
got a sense of what happiness was.
Without flight, I couldn’t have sailed away
with old and new friends,
for several days – doused in margaritas and men.
Friends who reminded me of the me I needed to get back.
Flying could kill me.
But without flight,
being stuck on the ground
is death’s fingernails on a blackboard,
its own virus that feeds on words and chances.
You’re a need to be alone
but not be lonely.
You’re a yearning for independence,
yet you always need help.
You’re a control freak,
but you pour responsibility freely
into the cupped hands of others.
You rarely make sense,
or you make too much sense – as difficult
to put into words as love – or more so.
You’re the friend nobody likes,
but that’s why you’re kept around.
Having you is better than feeling nothing,
yet not having you is like the moment
your host’s body adjusts to the cold water.
You’re the racing mind with too many targets
and the checked-out mind shrouded in a marble veil.
Those who carry you
know more about you than you think.
You’re the baking soda packed
into the depths of consciousness,
waiting for your host to spill the vinegar.
You forget how easy you are
to wipe clean after the storm.
Could you do me a favor
and never not wear black?
Keep making me laugh
until my asthma kicks in a little?
Nothing your finger
tracing the length of my spine
I wouldn’t mind simply grazing
your collarbone with my lips
while my hand strokes the dark hairs
on your chest, exposed by your
missing top three buttons.
Tell me you love animals
while you build me the world’s
perfect writing desk
with reclaimed barn wood.
Come close to tears of joy
when all I can repay you with
is a scarf and a gentler
Sylvia Plath-style bite to the cheek.
Sing other people’s songs,
and I’ll forget they’re covers.
Read me your poems,
and I’ll remember how to breathe,
at least until you lower me to the floor
with your promise to never leave
the inside of me completely.