"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker

Oh Captain

I had this recurring dream with him
in it night after night. When I would creep
into sleep a vision would appear:
He and I on a plane, flying business
class in suits. He had on a tie with
magnificent birds, wings out swept
in grandeur. A bored-looking blonde
stewardess checked his drink, the usual
jack and coke. I sipped a cape cod. The land was
beneath us, unrolling. The buttes and canyons
appeared as sandy smudges. The houses were
only hinted at, barely visible. I knew
in the way you know in dreams that
we were flying high over the Mojave.
Turbulence rocked us suddenly, as if suspended
from a pendulum. The stewardess hit her head on
her cart as she crashed down and the loudspeaker
screeched. The captain’s voice said remain calm.
Losing altitude and masks popped down from the
ceiling. He kept repeating to get our own masks
working, to get our own breath before helping
anyone else. I felt the cool flush and rush of
oxygen into my lungs as I breathed deeply
from it. When I tried to help him with his,
mine would stop operating. When mine would work
his wouldn’t. So we went back and forth, dizzy
from the perpetual suffocation and strangulation
of each other. A twisted ritual. The plane
rushed to meet the solid ground as the voice
from the loudspeaker bleated, heeded for
us to make sure our own mask worked
before helping anyone else. Saying it
over and over until I wanted to scream if I could.
We were falling through open sky,
unknowing and uncertain of our fate.
Then I would wake up,
smiling or crying, terrified because he
walked away.

Blake Love