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Thursday, April 24, 2014


by Anne Graue

Scaling the fence in San Jose
he smiled at himself,
proud to have not taken
that first drag in the seventh
grade when his friend Gavin
held out the pack of Marlboros.
His breathing was easy now,
and he felt his sneakers
hit the tarmac with some give.
He smiled again
circling the phrase "Homeland Security."
His comb in his back pocket,

he jumped inside the well
of the landing gear, finding
a place to roll his adolescence
into a position that might
outlast the flight, his unconsciousness,
his conscious act of defiance--his parents'
frantic search for their son gone
missing, who was a good kid, didn't smoke
or do drugs, who was smart enough,
who knew that hitching a ride inside
the outside of a 767 was a possibility.
His body folded up easily above the wheels--

he woke in paradise, combed his hair,
remembered how the noise was so great
and the cold was so numbing.

Anne Graue writes poetry and teaches online from her home in New York's Hudson Valley. Her poems have appeared in Paradigm, Compass Rose, Sixfold Journal, and The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly, and she was a finalist in the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award competition for 2013. She has written reviews of literary magazines for