O with what effort everyone pushes with all they have toward the unseen— Before the plane taxies for takeoff, the girl in 5A touching her forehead to her prayer book, adjusting her veil. The man muttering curses under his breath, the child biting back his tears. Two rows back, the girl with a long-stemmed rose, the girl with a tattoo in Edwardian script. That girl swapping her boots with five-inch heels for platforms with a vampy toe. But O, the world’s oblivious to our plans. Beyond the gently bucking seats, beyond the porthole-sized windows: lakes of clouds with no visible bodies swimming in them. Render: which can mean some action to make offering, or one of a few procedures a skillful hand employs to bring fat to the surface. Mother, my thoughts turn to you like a dog paddling furiously through floodwaters. There in the mountains you grow older by the day, but appear ageless in my dreams.
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