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Skymap Says We’re Nowhere Near Home

19 October 2013

9:00 AM

19 October 2013

9:00 AM

In Economy’s cramped haul it’s all I ever watch.
Our course is laid on screen before me, a dotted line
miles wide, plotting the next ten dry-eyed hours.

This kind of travel is the loneliest of procedures:
solo-piloting a pale track above computer-graphic
continents.  Across the aisle a blindfold man dreams,

ears cupped to rattling Springsteen.  It’s for me
that the names of India’s cities ride at the horizon;
that a picture aeroplane hauls its cartoon shadow.

Just as I glaze over, the tracking shot pulls back:
the round planet is ribboned in aerial desire paths.
Our destination blinks and spins like a mandala.

Nine hours, eight minutes. Below us, Japan:
its wounded power station close to cracking open.
On someone else’s jumpy screen, grim Clint chews

a cigar.  I’m held by my haloed book, unwrap
my tray-arrayed banquet. Friday the thirteenth:
pray for us, seat-struck, each in our private light.

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