Kevin A. Risner

First Flight

The first time she was
on a plane the runway a thick parallel line
concrete below freshly mown
grass above then sky above that
with those yellow letters & numbers
on black past our line of comprehension

increasing speed does little
to stem the nervousness of being
airborne we shudder & shirk & shake
& the lilt that sends us hovering
that’s when I turn & see
her eyes watery not with fear

with amazement
that this metal beast has laughed
at wind at clouds at sun at Icarus
& we tilt to the side so we can see the terminal
& we tilt to the side & notice the shape
of Cleveland’s tallest buildings

this other time it’s not her first flight
when skies are splotchy & covered
with an invisible route that has us
guessing when we’ll touch
concrete the engines roaring
right after that moment of impact

it’s as if something’s wrong
but nothing’s wrong
we slow down
we close our eyes & lean back
& we hope it will be like that
forever & ever amen.

Kevin A. Risner is currently ESL Coordinator at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work can be found online in multiple locations including Rise Up Review, Rising Phoenix Review, The Wire's Dream, Noble / Gas Qtrly, and others. His first chapbook -- My Ear is a Sieve -- was published last October by Bottlecap Press.