volando vengo, volando voy

A poem surfaced from my flight from Ecuador to Peru:

Volando vengo volando voy (yes, this is a lyric from Manu Chao)

Flying across a stillness of white

the lady behind me, mouth slightly open with red-orange lipstick

pronouncing her fat yet flat lips

closed eyes, forrowed brow, but just in the area where her eyebrows meet the top of her nose–her wrinkly third eye.

Her hair has been through the wringer

It’s been bleached and dyed on countless occasions and I imagine it as the same texture of those head’s of doll’s hair that my sister, cousins, and I used to play with at grandma’s house–matted and rough, a cloud of blonde mass, the comb was just a prop.

The guy in the seat in front, has eyes closed behind rectangular frames.

I can only see the back of his head and the tag on his baseball hat is visible–hecho en Guayaquil–probably his final destination.

And then a small granule of hail falls on my journal, and then some more.

The pellets melt into words and run the ink.

I’m not sure what to say, but it is cold up here, quite visibly, and the little pellets pelter my journal as I look out on the white expanse–a seeming tundra of snow–untouched and only appreciated by those coming by this high up.

Landing, everything comes back to life.

The lady opens her eyes and the space between her lower and upper lip is no longer visible, her lips are pursed.

The man’s eyes, once closed, now gaze through the window at his left.

And the hail stops falling from the ceiling.

And the plane breaks through stillness to ride over the beginnings of civilization–little houses all around, buildings become bigger, and finally, we land.


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