Plane Delay

You learn your plane
has been delayed

You remind yourself it has nothing to do
with you. The cause must be
something mechanical– a loose cap or

calibration error. The crew
does not have to say it’s not you,
it’s us because by now you know

the sigh of steel wings, how planes take
a while to ascend anyway.
How insignificant– this delay

stretches hours and a kind
voice speaks through white
noise on the loudspeaker like

she wants to say there is something
we can do to make a difference.
The plane will have the sky when

it is ready. Until then,
do not say it is broken.


(originally published in Little Patuxent Review, Winter 2016)

Headache – Internal Bleeding

On bridges I wait for the crash;
below, for the crumble.

With slick-ice roads in the
dead of winter
by the open canal,
in my mind I watch my car slide
off the road, into water.

even if I knew how to swim.
She taught me– or tried to, at least.
She told me to find
my “inner mermaid”–
like a man.

And to fill my lungs like balloons
with meaningless, throwaway air–
which I did, to a fault.


(originally published in The Literary Commune – Issue #4, April 2015)