You’re strapped in for the hour flight,
when a young woman, all flush and out
of breath, stops at your row, apologizes
with her eyes for making you get up.
You fumble with the seat belt, struggle
with your cane like a shy schoolboy
or a creaky invalid as you rise
to let her slide by. Thirty years ago
when you were young and a whole man,
she’d still be too cool and pretty for you.
If you tried to start a conversation now,
she’d turn your way, nod, be polite
and sweet, maybe pat you on the wrist
as if you were harmless. But the scent
of her hair fills you up and her tight
ass brushes your crotch and you hope
for the start of a hard on as you try
to recall the last time you were this close
to someone so beautifully alive. You both
fit head phones on. Music, the one thing
that hasn’t abandoned you. You daydream
while flying over some wooded expanse
that the same song will whisper secrets
into both of your ears’ and you both
will sing along as it leads you home.
Tony Anthony ism a life-long resident of New York City. His work has appeared in The Chiron Review, Rattle, The Raleigh Review, New Ohio Review and Nerve Cowboy (2002). My books include One Wish Left (Pavement Saw press 2002 and The Last Lie (NYQ Books/2010). Until The Last Light Leaves (NYQ Books 2015) was a finalist in the 2016 Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and focuses on my connection to an ex-girlfriend’s autistic son and my 35 years of managing group homes for the mentally challenged in Brooklyn.