A Plane Crashed Here (poem)

A heavy, humid air
Settles on the city today,

Distant buildings are erased

From the top down like

An unfinished drawing.
An airplane crashed within fog

Of this city, and birds flew

As if they could do no other-

Each’s fall unfathomable 

To each.
I pause, and hold my breath 

For twenty-nine seconds, a lifetime,

And remember a white statue 

In a grey garden at night 
Dreaming, counting 
The shadow of an open hand

On a dark paneled wall

In morning sun, twenty 

Nine seconds of the earth

Thrown up to night.
There is a woman wearing white 

Gloves and a yellow sundress, she

Has a bloody nose and I am in love

With her and the shadow 

Of a spider.
Twenty-nine seconds is not

What it takes to make a drawing of

A city even partially erased. Breath held,

Prayers, red-haired dogs asleep 

And waiting.
A child dressed as Abraham Lincoln 

Wears large red lips made of wax,

A cold kiss of love and questions,

A portrait of your mother.

In front 
Of fox-hunt wallpaper.
I have watched birds

And I have watched airplanes and

I will tell you that I am the king 

Of neither. Earthbound, measurable,

And unsafe.
To dream of flying 

Is only to ask a question 

That is partially lost in the fog

Within reach of my city.
Twenty-nine seconds is not 

What it takes to say I love you, even

Forgiving the fog and cities within reach,

And dreams more real than real, dreams,

What I have to say to you is not 

Measured by altitude and the speed 

Of descending, the earth, the black earth,

The measurable laws of this life,

This sky.
To dream of flying 

Is only to ask for an answer

That is partially a question,

Partially an end, wholly dark

And more real than real.
To die of flight takes more 

Than twenty-nine seconds

And twenty-nine seconds

Are a blessing, and a goodbye 
They are a counting on fingers.

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