It's on the plane when it comes to the balance of power. Sitting two seats up and across the aisle, she sucks on her hair while I invent words for a language spoken only in the clouds. Attention, the pilot has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign. All along, you expected turbulence. All along, you knew you had to descend. All along, you knew the plane would land, deep in the tropics where night falls like monsoons on corrugated tin. Forty days and forty nights. No pleasures now but our cool, moist skin, and everywhere, spiders the size of our hands.
To be healthy, too, reading booklike things and the feel of fishnet stockings and the swirl of a martini or two and a dirty smoke to boot. Dancing. Dancing for sure and plenty of drinks for two. And meanwhile, back at the ranch, lights are out where discarded peas dry in the kitchen sink trap and the shower could use a good scrubbing. The mystery of lost socks. The surprise of a letter in the mailbox. All that and the hours and days and the weeks and the years...
Did I see you at the scene? Did you make it, as they say? Did I walk right by you in the crowd for only a waft of your haircut and a glimpse of the way your sweaters drape the nape of your neck? I come from a long line of diners. I come hungry with eyes bigger than my belly, driving my girl to spindle a note in her pocket, the distance across a small room, sounds coming without undue delay and the mad delight of the anonymous poem. I see you. I see you again.
Bernd Sauermann was born in Hof, Germany, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1968. He is Visiting Professor of Writing at Adams State University in Alamosa Colorado and has published two books of prose poems, Seven Notes of a Dead Man’s Song, with MadHat Press, and Redshift with Lit Fest Press; two chapbooks, Diesel Generator with Horse Less Press and Diagram and Nomenclature with White Knuckle Press.