This is your first flight. You are antsy and loud, crawling around the seat to gaze at all
the sleeping eyes that are going to the same place. People with neck pillows frown at
you when you sneeze tiny, but you don’t mind. Even when the seatbelt sign is on, you
run across the aisle to the man with even darker skin than you and say, Grandpa, let’s
sing the alphabet again. He always starts out strong, then pretends to mix up Q and Z in
with L and M, and lets you proudly educate him on the proper order. You ask Grandpa
about the funny smell on the plane, and he says,the air is old. Like you? you say, and it’s
lucky that he chuckles and ruffles your hair. When you run back to your seat, your
mother is asleep, leaning on the window. You stand on her lap in your brown beaten
sandals to look down at the big white clouds that look like icebergs. She opens her
eyes, and her eyebrows crunch together around the Bindi dot centered between them.
Your dad leans over to grab your waist. You squirm and say, I just want to see the lake
clouds. He tells you to hush and makes a grid on a napkin for you to play tic-tac-toe.





department store windows
            the only memory of bombs
            H & W
            harold & winona
            harriet & willimae
            hold & wind
            harp & whistle
                      built the unsinkable from scratch
                                baked it a few degrees above the microwave directions
                      hostage & widow
                                          jumping jacks & wilted roses
                               who knew Molly Brown
                                except Colfax & Speer
the Irish are experts
on affordable funerals
           there was more than one Bloody Sunday
           & Bloody Friday
            & car bombing Tuesday
                                I wonder which cobblestones
                                          held detached limbs
                                          & unfinished screams