“the delayed effects of a bar trick i learned years ago” (Erin Mullikin)

i drive to the airport,
Piper Lane,
in twilight to watch the planes

land and take off,
land and take off,
land and take off

my jacket on the hood of my car,
light a cigarette
at the same moment when the stars

light themselves with
hot white
extraterrestrial fire.

i strip the cigarette box
of its cellophane.
i strip it of its advertisement paper

clinging to its back like skin.
then, i roll it up, burn a hole
in the clear plastic,

blow smoke.
inside the cellophane wrapper,
i have harnessed nature.

warm air and cool air
forming a tiny tornado.

i marvel at the act
of one creating natural disaster
in man-made-production-plastic.

as the last plane descends
onto the long, sleek runway,
i watch its fall, its grace,

its metallic mobile
inner space
through my funnel.

fear and awe, i think before
my final exhalation.
i breathe out,

and i am
blown away.


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