Scoundrel Time

A Safe Trip to Your Final Destination

We have stowed our carrion items, as instructed, in the overhead compartments.
The roadkill squirrels stacked nicely, not so the feral goat,
souvenir of a mountain holiday.

In the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure,
we will activate our own masks before helping others.

Now we have lowered our window shades, as instructed, to save the airline
the expense of projecting a landscape. We may still be moving;
there is a low noise, like a jet engine; it may in fact be
a jet engine.

Inserting my ear-worms, I listen to The Little Prince. I miss the pictures.

There are, in theory, rows of seats stretching ahead and behind in the muffled dark.
These seats would contain passengers of various kinds:
some, like me, in an upright and fully locked position,
others in airplane mode, their faces blank. And some are secretly troubled,
their processors thrashing, frantically swapping pages in and out
of virtual memory.

Many in first class may be enhanced with the new
cloud-based iSoul, while others remain, like me,
mere transient biochemical machines whose data
will vanish when the power is cut off.

When they tell us to brace for impact, when they tell us
our seat cushions can serve as flotation devices,
I will feel, I think, only relief to be headed
for a nowhere more real than this one.


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