Whatever Flies Gets Separated from its Shadow

Gone now, split almost forever, shadow and glory, corona and its counter, drift with the plane to shame the weary traveler’s eye. Circling higher and higher, on heavy wing, un-companioned, each fuselage enters a new zone of being, shared, for once, with birds. What can any machine achieve except by this dynamic? Over and over, the same answer: endless departure is no substitute for the promise of arrival. Held in the cradle of a hinted union, a gathered vacuum, a sifted substance, a dreamed demeanor, passengered, I became what I didn’t want to be: a half-believer in the full maneuver, set to the angle of a cruel deception, a very real hook hiding inside the wrong bait. Hunger is no wonder to me anymore. Sleepy eagles crest toward the receding center, skim the cliff face in full view of the hawk’s crisis. There are no bashful birds. Each of us must ask for the omen we lifted off to seek. The future we find may be one we can ignore— better chip at the plaster rather than let the whole blasted heath rise to greet us. The wingless comic is the man we’re after. The fluttering hands of a rootless boy shape this landscape to the whim of a rooster in whose honor we greet our own shadows as we rejoin them after our sojourn through animal air to the calm realm of our original partner in whose arms we are grounded.

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