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portraits of red and grey #3 by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

portraits of red and grey #3

by James Morehead

our pilot attacks heaven without mercy
racing for altitude
an ear-popping ascent ripping through clouds
i grip my seat
i am used to north american comfort

relief
the plane levels
cruising softly
                      brushing cloud tops

waiting
       waiting
              waiting

                         at the last possible moment to land
                         dive-bombing the runway
                         like a kamikaze dropping
                         popping my ears confused vertical vertigo

gripping the ground
relieved
russian arms armed to inspect me
                                                       armed and stone faced
a young soldier in a box
his eyes passing back
                                    and forth
from my passport to me
saying nothing
                        signaling another young soldier
their eyes through me

i try to stare back
i try not to sweat

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