i sat in the window seat on my
wednesday morning flight,
knoxville to chicago (TYS-ORD--
departure 6:10 am, arrival 6:57 am).
i remember reading once that airports are
one of the few places where
reality feels altered at such early hours.
humans shuffle quietly like
navigating some sort of graveyard and
these are, ultimately,
places we leave behind;
they are also places
parts of us may remain permanently,
to meet again if we are to return.
for 1 hour and 47 minutes i sat with my brother,
passing time between shared earphones,
airplane crackers, club sodas.
the bottom inch of my window warped in a way that made
half of the world appear to slope directly downward,
into or unto itself, in a blur.
we had not yet risen to a height that obscured
humans or houses or cars,
and so I watched people drive towards
the precipice that was, perhaps,
the edge of the world.
we certainly must have reached that end, too,
but proceeded in a different directions.
i watched as our plane headed upwards,
the thousands below me,
we ventured to different strata but remained
equidistant from home.
i wondered if we would eventually end up
in the same place.
we reached an altitude where
the particles of water held onto each other so closely,
heaven-bound performance art.
here they were—each one, 2.82 ten thousands of a micron—
and in the precise hour and 42 minutes that we were
in the air, they
connected, in that space,
i pointed at a cloud that resembled
even at five hundred miles per hour,
it took minutes for us to come
and just as we had, we were already
when we landed, we were closer to home than before,
but still hours away.
it is odd, i think, when we fly above the earth for
that we might cross the boundaries of time,
by losing it or gaining it,
grasping at it from such great heights—
it is wonderful, i think, that we might
live this way, too.
extremely rough draft--still working on an ending