After Texas
Jennifer VanBuren

and before boarding
I ran my fingers over the rivets
all was smooth, smooth (and still this friction!)
thirty minutes we circle Dallas/Fort Worth
captain mutters alive, alive into crosswind currents

(if for nothing other than your own safety)
please remain in your assigned cabin
desire only that to which you are accustomed
no lap napkin snap
no twist top family win

I promise I will not mix my piss
with that of the upper class

our wing tips tilt
we fall like a feather in an updraft
bound rebound pas de chat
down the runway on padded-toe tires

I breathe deep the air jet
from the third nozzle
slow my heartrate like a monk in an MRI while 
unsettled overhead compartments
are emptied of heavy baggage
and everyone knows
we wait our turn for midnight kisses
from the cockpit
alive alive