One at a time, they come off the plane:
looking for someone, arriving alone,
returning, beginning. They get off.
I wait to get on. Suddenly, it’s not
just the 11:35 to Chicago. But the
immigrants leaving Europe. Or the
thousands filing in and out to see the
lost Buddhas of Cambodia. Or the box-
cars with no exit. They get off. I wait to
get on. It doesn’t matter where we’re going.
I want to stop the old man shuffling. He
seems to carry a secret. It weighs him
down. It makes him search the floor
for the crack to the underworld he
was told would be here. We are
coming and going. Born. Dying.
In and out of life. Only no one
knows whether getting on or getting
off is the better way to go. The old man
pushes through the revolving door. He’s
looking for his baggage. Here’s another
with a limp in her heart. It makes me
want to stand and simply hum the
one true thing I know, hum it till
it starts to ring. And what if I could
sing it till it undresses all our cries?
Would anyone recognize it, know
it as their own? Would some join
in? I’m asked to board. To get on
with it. She looks at my passport
to see if it’s me. As if to say, Are
you you? I think she understands.