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Friday, October 21, 2005


by Alisa Gordaneer

we’re not used to happy endings, the jet
circling los angeles for hours waiting until
emergency crews can foam the runway
with chemicals to keep it from burning
on impact.

there will be one.
impact, that is.
the television
screen captures the jet against blue
california sky at 20 thousand feet,
blue as the ocean lapping far below, blue
as the uniforms of the flight attendants who
must not show emotion.
we are circling.
we will land. thinking of their boyfriends
down there on the beach, of the number
written in lipstick of someone’s cell.

the passengers aboard just know they are waiting
for impact, though they expected to be
over des moines by now, eating lasagna
eyes upwards in prayer position to
screens and screens of tom hanks. this is
not what they expected. not how they
hoped to end.

but up here, a man kisses
the woman next to him, even though she has
a ring, even though they met just before boarding.
it’s a party, the last days, seeing the end of it all on
each tiny screen
as long as the fuel lasts, as long as they
are flying nothing can go wrong it’s only

on impact
everything begins
to change.

Alisa Gordaneer is the editor of Monday Magazine, an alternative newsweekly in Victoria, BC, Canada, where she lives and writes on an urban homestead with her family. She is currently working on a novel and a collection of poems.