I see the new-born, the scalded.
A birthmark of friction
covers its whole flesh.
The pilot says we will set down safely.
A matter of minutes.
But it’s more than minutes really,
It’s the glass-blower’s
instant of Yes,
the two-nosed birth you believe in
until alarums wake you.
I am reading.
My legs crossed like a woman’s.
I hear my blood course.
I listen to my breath,
its rites and repetitions.
I am comfortable with the obsolescence in me,
the rivet that pulls from the wing
and sends me crashing,
I have made it to mid-flight,
my instructor plummeting in free-fall,
and I see myself,
I am thrilled and disheveled,
my appearance like that
of an immaculate house
where a woman is sleeping:
The strip gleams where I touch down,
ground dentures and bridal settings,
the house stands up around me.
Robert Lietz has had poems in the Seneca Review, Rapport, Yes, and South Carolina Review. He also has a chapbook from Cellar Press entitled Side Booths. (1975)