Unreality

Unreality

poem by Elizabeth Langemak
art by Justin Hamm


For us, long distance, the plane lifts
its chin and tucks in its toes. To get to you

I jump skyward, headlong into air
as though it were beastless: no wind,

child-whimmed, no yellow breath threads
ready to dangle their signal to prayer.

Window-seated, looking down, hung
like a toy from a ceiling too vaulted

to see, it is hard to believe in the goodness
of space or even myself, in how any engine

or wingspan could lift these full seats
over my particular landscape

of faults. Over doubt. Belief is only
a comfort of earth and upward of earth,

a reality so thin the lungs cannot take it.
When I think of myself on this plane

bound to you it is hard not to feel
the sheer physics of risk, to measure

the thickness and strength of the walls
with a panicky eye, to imagine

the fuselage a fist that opens
over square fields, scattering us

like seeds that will not open. I buckle
my belt and try not to scream.

-refers from “She went up” in Cary Briel’s poem Shall I Go Up

  1. Powerful poem! I particularly like the lines, “hung like a toy from a ceiling too vaulted” and “the fuselage a fist that opens over square fields”. Vivid imagery. The intensity builds well. Good job!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it Stacy. We are very happy to have Elizabeth’s work!

  3. This is lovely. This bit struck me:

    or wingspan could lift these full seats
    over my particular landscape

    of faults. …
    :) :)

  4. Oh wow, I really love this photo! it almost seems as if it’s a landscape, and yet it’s a man-made object. Goes so perfectly with this gorgeous poem!

  5. It is such a happy accident when a poem and picture come together that weren’t planned that way :)

  1. Pingback: Back to the Big Tent… « Put Words Together. Make Meaning.

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