Present but Elsewhere

Flying Distracted
by Daron Larson

Can we honestly claim to be shocked
by attention’s prolonged absence
from the cockpit?

It never really left.

It was merely present but elsewhere,
at the same time,
behind a secure door.

Deadly altitudes and velocities
feel thin and inert
from the inside,
just like outsized economic expansions
which are always too good to be true.

What lures us with adrenaline
quickly turns stale and dull.

Look at us, for example,
waiting in the cabin
for a better or more familiar city
to loom up from the
sleeping patchwork earth.

No longer dressed for Sunday,
we look like pole dancers and suckers
who lost it all in Vegas,
too short on time to wash or comb our hair, 
busy toying with the restrictions on electronic devices.

We are all flying distracted
     until jolted awake
          by contact with the ground,
               speed dialing anyone who will answer
                    to let the other passengers know
                         we are special,
                              we are adored,
                                   we are still alive.