The plane

On the airplane, I find Jesus.
My Jewish mother would be horrified
but she isn’t here, on this gerbil-sized plane
thrashing like a baby’s fist through the
question-mark sky.
If she was, she would probably be
screaming, I imagine. Instead,
I am praying. Head skyward, clenching
the armrest as if it were the hand
of the last beautiful moment
I want to stay alive for
if only to remember it longer,
to write a poem about it someday.

If someday is now, here we go.
Jesus, save me. I will believe in you.
I mean, I do. (do I?) I mean,
I believe in life. I’m sorry.
For every stupid, stupid moment
I wanted to fold myself
onto the train tracks
and just listen to the doorbell
of last call booming over me,
a rusted rocket.

The man next to me,
the one with no understanding
of personal space
or inoffensive cologne,
smiles at me.
“It’s just turbulence,” he says,
patting my leg reassuringly.
I’d like to use his arm
as a rip cord.
Jesus, please. No one
on this plane loves me.
There are no beautiful girls
whose necks I could use
as sedatives, no men who
frown like my father.
It is not fair, Jesus.
If I knew for sure
we were crashing,
I probably wouldn’t call anyone,
anyway, because what is there to say
that I haven’t said?
“I believe in Jesus. Just thought
you should know that about me.”

Well, I don’t. I hate to admit
I believe in dumb luck and in
lazy statistics. Chances are,
everything
will be fine.
Most likely,
you can write
any poem you want to
on a day that works better
for your schedule.
Sure, you can love me
whenever’s good for you,
whenever you decide
you believe enough
in the impossible, the invisible,
the name you never thought
you’d call out.

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