“…up above the light
like a lost swallow” ~ “Beyond Belief,” D. Bonta
Absolution: that faint smudge
where the compass points north.
Buy your tickets here,
call the hawkers. Not cheap for
chance passengers, considering
the nature of accommodations.
Don’t you always get the joke
when the joke’s on you?
Economics simply means there are
more people than there are seats.
First class these days gets you a pack
of peanuts, maybe. Frigate birds
get more lift just from cloud-hopping.
Among the unwaterproofed horde,
how many have papers, how many
are undocumented? And yet they log
incomparable mileage. Their other skill:
purloining what’s heaved over as
jetsam. In other words,
working it so other birds throw up
krill and squid, flying fish,
plankton… We should be so
lucky: to be continuously aloft,
with only the briefest inter-
missions for food. After so long
a journey, who even recalls what
need or nightmare first
catapulted us here?
O to soar and soar, to enter through
warm white hems of cloud, have air fill
pneumatic bones, lighter than girdles
fused to the shoulder joint.
Quicksilver gloss on the belly;
everything else dark, mottled,
rustic as cyanotype. What bright gashes
of color! We’re prized for these, made
spectacular as bodies in a fair.
What do you have there in that
throat pouch shaded deep scarlet? Do you
have for me letters, loves, poems?
Uncountable miles have come between
me and the future, me and the past…
Veering ever onward, I try to shut
my ears to the tumult et cetera.
Will you glide a little way with me, ransack the dips
for freshwater? If these jaunts were through
xysts lined with trees— something
fragrant like linden— perhaps
yaw velocity might compute differently. Perhaps
the wandering body that’s forgotten what it’s like at
zero motion might at last locate a distant ring
of islands, a cliff of chalky white in the final mile.
In response to Via Negativa: Beyond Belief.