Flight 2478

San José to San Diego
so many Sans and
now sans you, too.
Middle seat on the wing is the best I can do;
my shoulders ache before I even sit down.

“Is that seat taken?”

The boy, or maybe he’s a man;
the stubble confuses me on the young face,
says “We’ve been saving it for you.”
I think maybe he has.

He wears glasses, has dark hair.
I am wearing glasses, and have dark hair.
He reads Neruda, I read Garfunkel.
I dog-ear the tops of pages, he, the bottoms.

Obviously, it would never work out.

I notice the book, decorated with a good pen,
tucked under his left thigh and
I know it’s a journal. Mine is still in my bag.
Artie’s 84 poems have waited long enough.
Everything waits to be noticed.

My port side glances a pretense,
my eyes fall short of the window,
watching as the boy-man underlines in his book,
the poet set aside for nuptial niceties from the Nazarene,
looking to see what he thinks is important enough
to underline
in ink.

The secrets of the universe are often whispered
in just this way.
It isn’t snooping.

It’s philosophy.

Making a mental list
of those things in my life worthy of underlining
in ink
grows too daunting and
in the end I can only
underline my heart and
all that I hold in it,

all that I hold in

hoping it is as expansive as I’ve always imagined
and knowing that
a black pen
seems all wrong for the task.