On board, after the theatrics of the security line and an exorbitant purchase
of water, I say a small prayer before the plane takes off. Well, “prayer”
is a finer word for what happens under my breath, less a plea than a promise
to myself that everything will be okay. I keep the thought intentionally spare,
knowing that a tapestry of concerns could be woven into it – the forecast
for weather over Chicago, the complex mechanics of flight, the niggling unease
that someone will wrest us all from the sky with a single, irreversible blast.
I buckle up, recite a trilogy of sentences before the flight attendant asks us to please
turn off all electronic devices, then open to the view my oval window affords: tarmac,
that flat thoroughfare before liftoff, where faith enters the body & the body leans back.