looking out large window onto tarmac at airport with airplanes parked in distance

A medicine man smudging the terminal with sage,
a baby sleeping in the belly of a great plane like
a dinner of slumbering, like a grocery store at midnight,
liminal and alien in post-surgical fluorescent.

Think of the many times you have searched for the hand
of your girl behind you in a crowd. Think of the silence
you have during takeoff. Who would have thought that airspace

would be ground zero for the lingering heel of trauma:
that this atmosphere remembers and protects its borders
more fiercely than a human heart–a traveling woman

smudging the window with a yearning forehead
is its own kind of honoring, of respect for height,
of ritual native to modernity. What I should have said
was, “I want a person whose shoulder allows for cheek” instead of
“I love you”, to be sure, but when we are young we do not know
that there is no someone to do our dirty word work for us:
no muscle in an orange jacket heaving our sentences
up for claim. Your attendant says some jobs do not exist,
like breath making
, and so you are responsible for your own life first

when the masks come down. There is no medal for remembering
a time before computers, or the moment you learned
you’re made from the calcifying of your mother’s bones,
or that no lie is small.