The American Poetry Review

FIVE POEMS

Black Woman on a Plane, 21st Century

Minutiae in a bowl
jerry-rigged hand
in need of a drink,

The flight attendant
said, “It’s on me,”

I must’ve looked
like I needed one.

Such a rough climb,
wobbly as the sun
during Leo season

come to find out
a brand new plane
is hot to handle.

The first breath:
crucial, coughs.

My favorite path
of looking winds up
when I’m in the air,

there’s no way
to vacuum seal death
up here I suppose,

even though I’ve never
felt the urge to buy
a traveling pillow.

If something develops,if our machine defects,

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