Tuesday, June 9, 2015

On a higher plane
The jet zooms towards the moon
light blue day sliding away behind,
lush velvety night up ahead. 

In First Class, two jocular black men
in electric teal suits are joking, but 
on the other hand, one of them is serious.

"Man, I was in a Target before the airport, 
you know, the one down Waxy Candle Road?"

"Yes, I know that one."

"And I heard the most idiot shit you've ever 
heard, what these two we're saying to their kid.
ABUSE! This poor little, baby, really, 
and they got their damn dumb Hamburger Helper 
faces right down in the baby's face, a really cute
kid, cuttin' loose with every loud, dumb cliche
they recycled from their parents! Like -
how many times do I have to tell you? or, say
the kid is lagging and looking at something
with, you know, curiosity, like they do, these 
dumb ass abusers start going all: oh, BYE! 
LEAVING now, goodbye! The little baby oughta
look up at that moment and say, Ok, see ya around …" 

"Yeah, yeah, I agree with you, you know - 
call their bluff.  Of course, how the little child 
would support itself, well, that's gotta be 
on the table for consideration. But hey man, 
lookie here … you said idiot shit. 
That's a Bob Dylan song, ain't it?"

"Hmmm, yeah it is, isn't it? That's likely,
with me. My wife, the film and theater teacher,
says I'm as derivative as a milk bottle 
on a dairy farm!" 

They spill their drinks laughing, and almost 
spill out of the First Class seats they're filling,
also to the brim. 

Behind them, a couple of rows back, a couple
of women in sunglasses, sundresses, and sunny
smiles. They have new travel magazines; they 
are being cool and chic. But now one of them
gets serious, even mad! She pushes back her
red straw hat, and shouts, "HEY!" 

The black men up the aisle turn around
but are still laughing and wheezing and spilling,
and can't stop; she waves and smiles at them
and elbows her friend.

"Hey," she says, a little lower, "did you ever 
notice that only white people go on vacation
in these vacation magazines? And IF you see
a black woman or man in these magazines
they look like this - " she puts her cocktail 
on the flat of her hand, holds it to her friend
in a serving position. The friend starts scanning
her magazine, eyes racing up and down, 
behind the shades. 

"Jesus! Yes, I see what you mean!" 

The two men up front turn around again, 
still wiping their eyes. 

"What are you two talking about?"

The woman in the red hat holds up 
her magazine and says, "We're talking about 
how African-American people are never 
on vacation in vacation magazines!" 

"It's ok if you say black. But hey - I think 
you have a point! Let's put our seats 
together and have drinks! You two 
going on vacation? My wife has that sundress!
It's a small world, especially at 30,000 feet!
hahaha ..."

Two cops watch all this back in Coach, 
sneering through sunglasses. 

"Look at those two."

"Yeah, a real piece of ass."

"No, I mean the other two."

"Oh yeah. They're getting a little loud.
You know, like they do, in public. I wish 
we weren't in flight, I wanna shoot 'em."

"Don't worry, buddy, we'll be landing 
in St. Louis soon. But it doesn't matter 
where we land these days, does it?" 

The pilot - tall, dark and handsome 

as an oak tree - comes out the cockpit door
eyes lined up on the two cops,
walks down the aisle slowly and, arriving -
stands far above the police.

"I heard that," he says, staring. He turns 
to a stewardess. "Eileen, would you demonstrate 
the flotation device again for these gentlemen? 
Make sure theirs are ready, about 5 minutes." 

"But Captain, we aren't over water right now."

"You can't win 'em all." says the Captain, 
who walks back to the cockpit

The cops take off their sunglasses, one 
of them reaches, hesitantly touching the sleeve 
of the stewardess, says, "Is he kidding?"

"You'll never know. Now, pay attention … " 

The laughter in First Class sounds like Christmas breakfast 
plus the winning touchdown plus the post-game report 
that Billie Holiday has come back to life, 
dropped the syringe and the bottle 
on the floor, been elected president, but then -
after being sworn in - says, "Never mind boys, 
keep your games, I've got some singing to do!"

The laughter sounds like all this, and now 
there's more, rolling free down the aisle 
from First Class. 

Meanwhile, the jet zooms the moon. 

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