Compass Points

"Thrust and lift," says the sexual sounding diorama diagramming how planes keep up in the air in the metropolitan museum of science and industry, an industry built on dammed up rivers and cheap electricity and aluminum silhouettes bobbing and flexing, which in the dark is the only way to reassure seat 25F through squared ovals of icy plate glass, floating on the thick that holds only speed. To hold the city like this intoxicates, as if each light is for me or for you. But not for them. Not for those who light the lights, whose driveways and commutes glow orange, whose dim living rooms flicker ghostly blue. Their lights are on so that I may see them and find in them constellations, presentations, and gifts. Or so it feels. Each neighborhood wrapped in an amber bow, tied off with a red warning, pulsing to the rhythm of a humpback's heartbeat.    

Phillip Barron edits the online journal OccuPoetry, and his poems appear or are forthcoming in Main Street Rag, Counterexample Poetics, and Dead Mule of Southern Literature, among other journals. He has taught philosophy at the Chapel Hill and Greensboro campuses of the University of North Carolina and currently lives in Davis, California, where he works in the digital humanities at the University of California, Davis.

Category: Airplanes

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