What do you tell
a girl who’s twelve
when she asks you,
Marco’s back from paradise,
and he wasn’t even gone so long
Came crashing back through the stratosphere
when he realized where he belonged
They were wondering down on Earth
where the chap had gone,
why he wasn’t chilling in the parking lot
with the good old boys back home
He didn’t bother explaining where he’d been
with the hunger in his heart;
Said, “Hey guys it’s hard to keep afloat
when the world’s pullin you apart!”
They laughed and clowned and pulled his hair,
broke bottles in the Night
(nobody wants to go back home,
we’d all rather just stay outside.)
So the skyline kept us company
Until the morning came,
Then back to the union bosses in daytime,
where the hard reality reigns.
Marco’s back from paradise, and
he knows he did the right thing;
This world’s not done with him yet
He thought to himself
with a wolfish grin.
I beseech thee
to teach me,
with a thousand Enemies,
to use my Animality,
to use my wits and my claws
to set myself
down Railroad tracks
full of snacks
in late September,
the cicada drones
bleached elk bones
and times alone
made the most magical stories
it’s 2 am again,
and I’m sitting alone on a cold suburban rooftop,
bare toes curled over shingles
thinking thoughts and shooting stars
and keeping silent vigil
Because what if Tonight
is the night?
the fasten seatbelt sign is on.
please put your dining trays up,
and make sure your seat is in the upright position.
Put away and stow all electronic devices.
My soul is taking flight,
and the pressurized cabin is softly humming.
I’m seated next to a man in a turban with a long tangled beard
and a morbidly obese black woman who reeks of perfume.
Their souls too, are preparing to take flight.
I press my face to the window,
and beyond the wing I see
glowing orange lights in the New Jersey night,
and the odd shaped vehicles that scurry around airyards.
The quiet mumbling of the machines multi-ethnic cargo
is silenced as we roll onto the runway,
the cabin rotating and shifting, making the babies
and small children uneasy.
The hiss of air through those little circular overhead vents
is blowing dry, stale recycled air onto my face.
This is it.
A new world awaits,
Make sure your buckled up.
Suddenly we are roaring like a train,
Screaming down the runway
Aimed at the void.
My bones and my body bounce up and down,
Bumping me against this tired looking Islamic guy
while Newark Liberty Airport rushes by
The plane charges faster
It’s not letting up,
Not hesitating for even a moment,
A little Japanese baby has started to cry
the whole cabin is shuddering, jumping up and down,
bouncing souls around in a coach-class purgatory,
Giant steel wings flapping and beating
Hard against the resistance of the mortal world,
Pushing, running, sprinting,
Our souls have left the ground,
we are entering the sky,
and when I look out of the window
over our Angelic host’s great metal shoulder-blades
I begin to cry
(quietly, so that the Muslim guy
sitting next to me
as I shake off my old life,
Sliding it off like a jacket
after being out in the cold…
Below my Soul and Body, the shrinking
of New Jersey
become a dreamscape in the Night
of dully glowing orange points and minuscule cars
sliding down ink-black rivers of asphalt and pavement,
The New York skyline
cutting into the Night like claws dripped in pitch,
tearing neon gashes bleeding light
and my Soul,
with body in tow,
Heads West to find the Dawn.