And a crack in the teacup opens
Their faces stare out,
pressed against the ovals of panes
as the aeroplane hastens
into radar silence.
She is sitting beside her husband, who secretly
has cancer, knows she’s having an affair.
Under that blanket, a boy is counting time on his fingers.
A girl sleeps against her mother’s shoulder,
while the man on her right
soars away, thoughts exploding:
I should have had more sex.
The angle of a wing dips
into refractions of light
as they frantically ask questions.
and thirty nine passengers,
texting those precious three words.
One woman turns to the stranger beside her,
takes his hand.
She does not pray, holds
on to loneliness, though he squeezes.
His face is salt. Sensitive eyes.
Touch will keep them feeling alive, until
the last moment.
She thinks of drinking rum with those fishermen
in Kuching, the music, everybody laughing,
her eyes squeezing tears.
Afric McGlinchey’s début The lucky star of hidden things (Salmon) is being translated into Italian. A Pushcart nominee, she won the Hennessy poetry award and Northern Liberties poetry prize. www.africmcglinchey.com