Delaying The Flight

feather-32534_640Because I’m drunk I’m thinking

If I ever fall in love with whoever you are

and you, poor fool, fall for that old trick too.

And then later, after sheets strewn with

feathers and hide from some poor beast

who died to give us pleasure, like that one guy


who died to clean up our sins but missed a few spots


if after those sheets somehow still on the bed

and perhaps broken plaster, we ever

put on our armor again, thumbing passports

at the back of immigration lines, you in a city

reclaimed from the sea, and me? a raised swamp

or wet valed mountains where I’ll bury my skull


and we decide, because love is best when it ends

in glory, not in tears, and feathers and anyway

I forget why we’re talking on love

because I still haven’t learned how to breathe

through you or to even hear your voice past

what you say, to what they never hear


Oh! Sorry. Across oceans, stern women checking our papers

which are like feathers and sheets, unstrewn

unlike the words I’m always leaving around

after we were fools and fell in love, and picked ourselves up

from such silly endeavors, perhaps we can part not here

but there, some third port neither yours nor mine


not because I know how this goes, or even what we do


with all those feathers we’re collecting in cities

where we’ll only find more, and shrug, thinking

that all our talk of love was too serious for our souls

a third port, please, because my city and yours

should always wait away, so we can end this

before it ever began, know where we leave off


the final pages of the book I told you I wouldn’t read

running ahead long before I even said words

you’re warning me not to mean. And anyway, I can never

be your sweat-soaked shirt as you run. That was silly

because I meant only, I’d like to feel your sweat

soaking into me, leaving feathers, worn leather


at an airport, somewhere far, but neither mine–

as I leave back into forward, the plan all along–or yours

and you become what you ought.

Perhaps I helped, maybe, you’ll think, standing at that window

like the beautiful way you buy yoghurt (I’ll never tell)

and perhaps I helped too.


Why were we talking of love, when what I’d meant to say

and you are obscured in memory, like that dream

and that other, and I start to wonder why you’re here?

But you’re also there, and so am I, across an ocean, waiting

for strange men to check our names and dreams

to see if we are worthy.


You know this is really bad poetry, but I’m drunk, and

as I said, I was thinking, that when we finally leave

(if that isn’t now–I cannot tell)

it be in some third port, because we got talking of love

but you don’t yet know that I hate, more than anything

her voice, reminding, that you cannot smoke


And all the names, expertly pronounced, who are not yet

at the gate, taking them from those they do not know

or do, their stories aren’t ours, but there they are

Hayakawa, Abdul, Gerhardt and Smith, but all you

really want is to smoke, but you can’t, because she said

two minutes ago, and two minutes from now


And more names, and you’re not staying, nor is their plane

except for a moment, ‘you are delaying the flight,’

and all they want is a cigarette.

Like me, there, in that place where you’ll likely go, and I

elsewhere, holding a passport in hand, and

feather in pocket, or in ear.


We were talking on love, and that’s too serious for

what we’ll eventually do, part over oceans in boxes

where you cannot smoke, or dream,

but it doesn’t matter, because that’s everything after.

You are delaying the flight, she says, and I

say fuck you let them smoke, because maybe


I should really tell you what I mean.

If we don’t part now, then for the love of gods

and feathers, and sweat-soaked shirts, then fuck

don’t make me say good-bye at Schiphol.

I’ll not delay your flight, but you should know

we should leave elsewhere, if not here, because


I really fucking hate that fucking airport.

2 thoughts on “Delaying The Flight

  1. It is so hard for me not to get pulled into the world of working for a living, trying to survive, trying to make ends meet and still pursue music and engage with my Gods, and, and, and, but your blog and poetry always help me remember the most important parts of myself. Thank you.

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