Vertigo ~ Laurinda Lind


Too high in the air, it’s scary
to look down on the mountains
of Tennessee, or is it Kentucky

when the plane rattles,
I rattle too. If I fell I would flood
apart like a fray of atoms,

possibly, and rain, in
a fine spray, on the earth.
But maybe I’d be a meteor

and break through a nice
family’s roof like a horror-
movie Santa. Down there

it’s the land of caves,
the lungs that layer Appalachia:
If I were underground,

I’d stay in the roots
of the ridges; but I
am in the sky

with a stale bagel
and a bag of raisins
and we, quiet cargo,

career toward Chicago.
Above us is the galaxy. Then
comes us, then clouds,

then Kentucky, then caves.
Later, when I narrow it down
to only me with my feet

on the floor at O’Hare,
I will swear to stay between
the overhead and the underneath

as long as I can make it last,
but finally with my heart inside
my body where it belongs,

I have to prime it again
before I can climb back
into the sky for Syracuse.