My adventure begins
with a clock ticking, airplanes
move. The first sight
of a skyline receding
and bombs fall through my heart.
Airplanes mean wartime London,
Dayton on wings, or a visit
to any unknowable past—someone’s mother
just, and only, off the ship, watching
planes take off from New York
and New Jersey. I nestle in my chair,
jot down a line for later, feel
anxious to get to San Francisco.
Hours pass and touch down
while I sleep.
First I notice foliage, then
I’m shown around. The Cliff
House with the Musée Mécanique.
Déjà vu comes sneaking through this
geography, traced out
by motorcycle wheels that strain
against gravity. Yes, we sing
all the words. The wind
sings along in our own voices.
God, how many people
jumped off this bridge trying to fly off
into your Western sunset?
My sunglasses and helmet were almost
lost to the same romance.
Then come the clouds with
random raindrops splashing
like old songs onto
the pavement. They chase me and the sun
farther west. I’m climbing again,
I’m falling again
through the clouds,
through a stormy sunset
in the middle of the Pacific,
into a congested city
City without billboards, rainbows bridge
the clouds. I freeze in small prop planes
as we buzz from twig to twig—human
bees sampling the islands.
In one remote Hawaiian moment
I was strapped back and
in a rental car, the fear
of falling holding me fast
to a harsher cliff wall.
One narrow lane
through a giant’s fairy tale, clouds
and cows flying above me, panic
and anger falling down like rocks, and
my own imagination, falling, falling,
I’m falling then,
smacking down safely in the dead
white, small, terrified, home.