NPM – 21 of 30

Searching the Sky

flying west toward the coast
toward home
golden horizon beckons
promising nothing

I’m familiar with what awaits
quiet, unspoken thoughts
about the trajectory of my life
falling into bed, returning to work
spouting canned pleasantries about my trip

we hurtle through the sky
at death-defying speeds
through unimaginable cold
in relative comfort

I start reading a new book
about a woman who loses her job
creates plans to start a mobile bookshop
it is near to my dream but farther away than hers

I wonder if it’s a sign, like when earlier
the song in my ears was “Into the Sun,”
the very same thing I was doing at the moment

the song changes to “Almost Home”
another signal of my present moment
in which I wonder about love
if it’s destined for me
if it’s destined for the singer

sky slowly turns to dusk
while horizon remains a fiery dark orange

boy beside me cheats on a school handout,
I see him looking at the answers
from a photo of a completed handout on his phone

the folly of humans is often exhausting
yet I feel lucky to have a few I can count on
who will put me up for a few days
meet me for coffee or dinner occasionally,
an occasion ally, if you will,
and there’s love there

I consider how I knew when her name
came up on my phone that she was gone
it was her sister calling, and I took comfort
in her voice, which was so similar to her sister’s,
much like my sister’s voice & mine confuse people
the sister confirmed she died as the sun rose

outside this celestial time machine
light stretches its arms toward me, growing fainter

one of the last times I saw her, we were holding hands
lying on her bed, staring at one of her paintings
of the sky in the gloaming with the North Star
glowing brightly in the center – “That’s where
I’m going,” she said. So matter-of-factly, so positive.

I glance out the portal window as the plane descends
resolve to look up more often to spy a glimmer
of her spirit, to search the sky for my own,
scan the horizon for some positivity & more signs


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