Flaps flare
Ears deaf to the drum
Of the skyline
Beneath the jet
engines’ roar
Swollen feet fidget
for disembarkation
Anxious bodies are restless
to depressurize

Please have
your documents ready

Another 767
Lurches to the gate
(The baby in 2C
is finally asleep.)
Seatbelts: Off
Landing lips: On
Additional translation
is needed
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to New York

7 thoughts on “Arrival

  1. You captured it, that essence of air travel. What we endure in exchange for speed. I’ve done my share, and now avoid it if possible. I once flew to LA, spent some time there with a friend, then boarded a train intending to see what the differences were. All the way to San Antonio, then New Orleans, then Chicago and Pittsburgh. I had no deadlines, so the luxury was the time to feel the physicality of crossing all that land, rocking back and forth, then walking sidewalks in strange towns, having time to experience travel in an older way. It’s too bad that seems to be fading away, because it is so much fun. I still remember breakfast with an 85-year-old retired doctor, the first morning out of NOLA. He’d grown up on a strawberry farm in the French Quarter decades before, and the breakfast had strawberries and I got to relive the sweetness of the strawberries of his youth. Can’t do that on an airplane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A cross-country train ride? Sounds like a lot of fun! And you hit a few of my favorite spots, too, like NOLA and San Antonio. It’s true that you can have some of the best and most memorable encounters with people you meet on the road. I spent my share of time traveling, too. There is nothing glamorous about air travel at all anymore. The poem is about landing at JFK. Not my favorite US airport by any stretch, but more tolerable than, say, LAX or ATL.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was reading this, , and immediately thought of you. I wondered how this sort of thing, and the harassment scandal that’s broken with Weinstein’s sordid story, fits in with your examination of femininity? A phrase in the article struck me, and I think that’s what made me ask: “”…trying to transcend the female body…”

        How does a woman navigate all of the conflicting pressure for a sexual response from others, the unwelcome kind, and still have the energy or inner peace to also continue to take comfort and pleasure from being a woman? Isn’t it easy to be resentful and wish you could escape your own body?

        This is a reality that most men simply can’t comprehend, that of being always being on display, evaluated, approached, grabbed, even. Maybe rock stars or movie idols get the treatment, maybe. And women can be fairly aggressive in seeking sex. The difference is probably that most men are so grateful they put aside any questions of being ‘objectified.’ Most of us don’t worry about that until later, I suspect. 🙂

        So…. if you hadn’t already thought of this, may I suggest you take a stab at the “how do women balance the conflicting realities? the Catch-22 of being born a female?”


  2. You asked me if it’s easier for women to become resentful and wish to escape our bodies when faced with unwelcome sexual advances. My answer is, “It depends on the woman.” I have always had sales-oriented and/or customer-facing jobs. In my last job, I was in a sense, on display. I worked with and in front of many people everyday (mind you, a good portion of them paid me no attention). I was highly visible in a position that is traditionally considered “sexy” by many men. I was groped, solicited, leared at, invited to become a “kept woman,” the other woman, invited to hotel rooms, and followed out of my place of work. I could probably tell you some stories that would creep you out. And one or two that may downright disturb you.

    Ask me if, in the moment, I wanted to escape my circumstances. To hide. To disappear. When the unwanted attention was bad enough—persistent, aggressive, and/or vulgar enough—I’d say “yes.” Ask me again if I am resentful. The answer is, as my writings strongly indicate, “no.” Absolutely not. Not of men, not of the job(s), and certainly not of my sex. Generally speaking, it’s not my nature to deal with those kinds of situations in that way. How we deal with situations like that is a reflection of self.

    It sounds like what you’re asking me to write (a topic I hadn’t considered) is less a matter of politics and cultural attitudes and far more an examination of individual psychology. The “Catch-22” of our being, as you say. And a heftier discussion than, perhaps, I’ve done to this point, might I add. Interesting. It will certainly take some thought, but it feels like a topic worth approaching. Thank you for the suggestion.

    P.S.-I don’t think I’ve ever met a man who minded being objectified. Not one bit 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope. At least, not at first. We expect rejection, but hormones being the nasty whips they are, we are driven blindly ahead like dumb beasts anyway. 🙂

      And I think what you have to say about the Catch-22 question would be interesting. Who knows, it’s also timely, and you might be able to get it published for actual money somewhere. And you’d get your very own collection of trolls! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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