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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1732511-Requiem-for-a-Soaring-Moment
Rated: 18+ · Poetry · Philosophy · #1732511
A poem about one of those moments that suspends reality
It shouldn’t be this peaceful up here:
I am in a small seat in a big metal box at approximately 32,000 feet above the ground,

Which, in itself, is a rather ridiculous sort of concept-
Man was born with two legs and two lungs, addled mind and tender heart, and no wings
We were never meant to fly, but we wanted to, we need to,
So two brothers with a bike shop and no respect for the “impossible” built a glider,
And one thing led to another,
And now we file into our great metal boxes that weigh many a ton and are propelled by fire,
Griping about delays and “gate rape” and seats in upright and locked positions,
Like it was no big thing to soar anymore

We’re somewhere over the Midwest-
Twice an hour or so removed from the West Coast and my ocean,
Plus three more and three again into the future until my Everything is Back to Normal,
And below my panoramic gaze, all the fields are sorted into sheets of simple geometry-
Mainly circles and squares, but if you pay attention, you might see a swatch shaped like Pac-Man
And, well, from this height, all those people down there just seem so small,
And their problems don’t feel quite so terrifying or so “impossible”,
But up here, the scene is not nearly so serene

Not when the guy in the next seat is balancing five budgets,
And owners of strained bladders are climbing over best friends and complete strangers
To join the lavatory line presently composed of two suits and a pair of jeggings,
Not while stewardesses pushing drink carts unapologetically bat their eyes while
Battering unsuspecting arms like stubborn turnstiles
And a baby is crying- dependable as the sunrise, that one- but the kid can’t help itself and
Besides, the plane itself is rumbling with the dull roar of engineering achievement-
That, and the sheer forces of nature and physics taking their best shots at this insult to birds,
How the fuck did we get here, Orville, and how the fuck are we not free-falling?

And then there's me-
Curled up in my cramped corner of this flying metal box,
Working on a research paper about the ancient Minoans and
Working on the lyrics of what might turn out to be a pretty nice song someday, and I’m
Working on letting go,
Working on using the past tense while moving toward the future,
Working on complex overanalysis of every word she ever said and all the things she never will, while
Working on making myself a better person, or at least trying to
Work on making myself feel better about the person that I am…

And then I breathe out, pan off to see the horizon's world take a rosy tint
A smaller box shoots off, Pacific-bound, leaving a thin white stream to lilt over the mountains,
And I find that we’ve flown into the foreground of a sunset,
And it is beautiful

The sun keeps heading west, and we keep heading east,
Pink fades to violet fades to dusk as peaks give way to parking lots…
It’s funny- how the earth’s moving a hundred times faster than us, but we’re the ones in a hurry,
So we can get out of this box and go back to business,
Back to the daily grind and to the uncertainty of solid ground under our feet,
Back to waiting for whatever's coming next, and all the hope that comes with it

But for now, as we delve deeper into this good night,
I’ll set aside my textbooks, tune out the noise and the deadlines and even the passenger
One row ahead who's reclined so far I cannot speak these words without feeling his seat on my lips
And I’ll look down at the shining city lights and see them from the sky, see ‘em from my eyes,
And not just this flying metal box

I can already hear the opening notes of a melody,
Composing chord progression like a sunset,
Writing this Requiem for a Soaring Moment
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