31,000 feet up —
and the attendant pours tomato juice in plastic cups.
Then a wind bumps the belly of the plane.
Outside, on either side, a skein
of cirrus stretches like an ether that would take your breath away.
We are prayerful leaning over our trays.
After our meal, the movie screens appear —
and lovers try to take us higher into the cool frontiers
of their gilded bodies, her shoulders round
as the tops of pears, his head crowned
with hair like wheat. Yet all of this propulsion, thrust, and lift,
still leaves us stalled mid-sky — adrift.
The rate of our ascent is mystified, for in our need
we hear not choirs — but engines whining on at cruising speed.