Preface to the Poem

After a wonderful trip to Texas, I begrudgingly boarded a plane to fly home. My nerves tensed, born of impending turbulence and cabin confinement. As the plane climbed through rain clouds, I looked up at the ceiling and saw ribs.

Jonah

Encompassed, he cowers
in the belly of obligation—
slapped by its contractions,
cinched inside a rib cage.
Drenched bones resonate
with his low droning guilt.
Speedily he tries to tolerate
the saltwater knowing.
Leaving crust on his brow,
vapors rise from needful choices.
Sea breeze memories haunt
behind acid-bleached eyelids.

How briefly grand
was liberty’s froth upon the lightsome
ship from which he leapt.


Poet’s Note:

Image by Jake Christensen