Michael McNeilley

the flight attendant is too beautiful
to have a very good life
she moves among us with
an otherly ease that is at once
alien and familiar
she is not one of us
her face is the face of billboards
her shape seems designed somehow
it is far too easy to imagine her naked
to believe you have seen her briefly
in a hot tub with Mel Gibson
her ass is so rounded it seems contrived
it continues to emerge from the coffee station
blocking access to the restrooms
rounder than the full moon
a blarney stone of the skies --
the women who pass shrink from it
but the men rub their way by
flattening trouser creases
some almost grimacing
like reaching guitarists
but most unconscious as inmates
lining up for evening lockdown
for she is there and not there
she is television in 3 dimensions
her cascading blonde hair captures lights
that follow her toeing their invisible marks
the lathe of the wrist is too precise
unreal across this tiny aisle
her tailored blue uniform
color coordinated to match
the carpet and the seat cushions
she belongs here and nowhere else
not in some grocery store checkout line
here waiting to be spirited away
by some man rich and perfect enough
to find the reality that is in her
but she knows and I know
this is not how rich men work
and so I watch her like a movie
and I begin to think of you
the warm reality of you
your thin arms your smile
your eyes that pull me out of myself
when this is what I need
and to compare the distance
across this narrow aisle
to the vast space from this high vector
to you there on the coast
even with all the clouds that lie between
makes me happy and sad
sorry and grateful longing
and hopeful and fulfilled all at once
and as the flight attendant moves past
even the smell of her a tiny perfect moment
I know beauty I know connectedness
I am drenched in the waters of recognition
and I breathe fresh air
and I am wings and I know
Copyright CrossConnect, Inc. 1996