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.