The Birth of Flight


As I join a mostly empty flight, I abandon my assigned seat for one five rows up by the window. The man next to me, across 4 empty spots and an aisle, sits against the opposite window. A tube sneaks from an overhead bin and follows, taped, the roof of the plane, down to a mask attached to his face. Aged, tired, sick; he inhales from it what I inhale naturally. He wheezes as I notice that we sit, exactly mirrored. Our bodies at the same angle. Legs crossed. Pillow propped. Eyes connecting.

He wheezes again. I think to myself: this poor man cannot see how much we have in common.


Oh my God, this birth
has undone me. The labor has left
me with empty hands and
I’ve also gone blind.
I sit here and feel that this was a
miscarriage; my pain is more real
than the God I try to follow.
but, I hope –
that my empty hands can slowly
roll open from these fists
and bear what was born-