Outside the great thundering cathedrals of concrete and tarmac,
the jets graze on taxiways.
They linger, spent by the silence of the stratosphere,
In their stillness exists the threat of great shearing violence.

There is a shuddering fear of dark men
who know how to pass without breathing,
who yearn for the graveyard’s promise of the everlasting,
who know how to lay down a life.
The rip of metal still echoes in the thinnest air,
the backwater of the dead.

Breaking through low clouds, over the tops of grain elevators,
the redeye’s engines whine, wings vibrate, wheels lock.
It is a savage plunge with all the horror and loneliness
of the leap from a bridge, a man lost,
dragged at the last from the edge by a long armed cop.
The wheels touch, the screaming fades, and I am home.

Outside a young man with a mangled hand hails taxis
for arriving passengers.
He smiles with the malevolence of breathless youth.