Exit Aisle from Issue 98
You can’t read the card, can’t speak English, can’t
solve the Long Island lilt of the flight attendant
who can’t handle that you can’t, so she instructs you
to move. I raise my hand. Our backs brush as we pass.
In your new seat, my old seat, you, crying, face the plastic
window blind that covers the night’s lights. Turning
back, I wave to you, my hand a clip-winged bird,
trying to thank you. So many things hold us all
apart. If we should crash, I’m determined to let you out first
when I pull the magic metal lever that could save
our remains. We are still on the ground. You are still
behind me. I want to speak to you, to ask what I can do
to thin the fog, what I can know of you who cannot
decipher our noise, twin engines chugging smog.
I’ll pull the lever. Let’s burst from here, take to our wing,
and rush past all the lines of lights, the blue and white
and blinking red, till we’re in the quiet,
where, I promise, I will not speak—for I am nothing
wise—till we understand ourselves, till we have shared eyes.