Paul Genega

for Jim

Paul Genega


Later on the ground, one man lost it believing the baggage had burned—


wailed his grief in glass shattering crescendos, flailing against the inert empty carousel,


a Rumpelstiltskin czardas of impotence and rage— but when the cabin first filled with smoke


everyone on board, as if narcotized by their imminent demise,


eased into an odd collective calm. If not now, when? I remember thinking


as the smoke thickened forty miles from New York. Does He exist for you or not? This is it. Decide . . . 


Then turned and asked if you’d care to share a stick of spearmint, knowing at that moment—


with the heaviest of certitudes—the only one I wished to talk to was you, my love in the live vile air.

Paul Genega

Paul Genega’s fifth collection of poetry, All I Can Recall, appeared in 2013 from Salmon Poetry, Ireland. He teaches creative writing at Bloomfield College, New Jersey, where he chairs the Division of Humanities.


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