Rows of No Smoking Lights

Captain, turn off the seat belt sign
so only rows of no smoking lights run above.

Secure us passengers, upright us as
we wait in this obdurate silence.

Sleep eyes open to a hangover, dream
rocking against a tiny dark window.

Lighted wing belays the illusion, we are
underwater (again) in a primal world.

Feel this pressurized weight force
the lights to run on. Staring at

them blurs life into one long line
A long hallway I too will walk someday.

[revised from 2010 – about a plane ride home from Mexico to say goodbye to my dying grandmother]

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