airline passengers Richard Fein

And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch....
The name of the star is Wormwood
A third of the waters became Wormwood,
and many died from the water,
because it was made bitter.
Revelations 8:10,11

I think about what I might think
if this plane plunged into the sea,
with all of us reduced to a fiery Wormwood searing the sky,
with sunset to the West, gathering darkness to the East
and the fast approaching blue below.
No mindless panic, no soiled pants
rather I'd practice a Zen-like focus
on memories, on actions flowering from memories.

I'd recall two days ago when we screamed divorce.
But then I'd remember this morning's parting kiss
and her saying that she'll miss me,
our recent anger an inconvenient memory.
As I, as all my fellow travelers, fall
I'd rise above myself
keeping still amid the panicky Hail Marys.
I'd smile at the oxymoron of a downward ascent,
a heavenly, hellish release of soul from body.

But most of all there'd be the paradox of the parting kiss,
not a Judas kiss but a seal of loyalty,
as the plane cracked
and the ocean rushed in salty as tears.

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