On the plane to Lima, I browsed
new movies on an airline screen;
some looked good, but I was tired,
and sleep seemed a better choice.
Then in the never-never land
between waking and dreaming,
I made my own film, borrowing
images from flip-through clips
back-stroking in my brain.
You and I wore space suits,
puffy, white, like Michelin men,
with helmets encasing heads
as we floated helplessly in air.
We couldn’t touch – each time
it seemed we might, one of us
drifted away, but still somehow
tethered by thought lines,
transparent like the noodles
we ate in Myanmar months ago.
It must have been a long film;
you swam away for a while,
but just as I began to worry,
you slipped back into view
and waved, so I went for a dip
in the Milky Way but couldn’t see
through the blur on my helmet lens.
How that movie ended, I can’t say
for the man in the seat beside me
suddenly began to sing aloud,
beating time to the music in his
earbuds: happy Peruvian who
knew just where he was in space.
# # #
Janet M. Powers, Professor Emerita at Gettysburg College, taught for 49 years in the fields of South Asian literature and civilization, women’s studies and peace studies. She has published poetry in many small journals, including Earth’s Daughters, The Poeming Pigeon, The Memory Box and The Little Red Tree Anthology. This old lady still writes poetry and stands on street corners with signs — trying to change this sorry world of ours.
Photo: Joey Csunyo