Charles Harper Webb (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
The Jumbo Jet has barely shuddered off
The ground, and I'm depressed. My scuba mask
And fins, my fly rod and beach hat
Crush each other in an overhead locker
Dark as the bedroom closet they're returning to.
Already the week's good times melt
Together like caramels in a hot car.
My vow to "Do this more often!" recedes
With the jade palms and sun-stroked beaches
I can barely see through my scratched window
As the pilot thanks us for "flying
United," and climbs through ectoplasmic
Clouds into the jet stream that circles
Earth's head like a tedious tune,
And like a kick in the rear, hustles us
Homeward through a sky which, though it looks
blue enough to house heaven, is colorless
As life without you, and just goes on and on.
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