10-Line Tuesday

April 14, 2015

reading Emerson at 38,000 feet

An essay called "The Poet" arrives in my inbox two nights before the flight
to San Francisco. The writing is dense, but I've got six hours. And then, like a dare
or the devil, reality TV beckons somewhere over Cleveland. Real Housewives and
the latest travails of the Family Kardashian. It is tempting to follow them, 
and in between the thick and mealy stack of pages, I do, landing in a rotating series
of Photoshopped narratives. Emerson cajoles, "Every word was once a poem" so
I turn my ear even closer, toward the nuanced language of the rich and shiny,
brandishing champagne flutes like swords. And there it is, in the lines the facialist
missed. That old, raw longing. The same burning question no one asks: "Remember,
my love, how I was beautiful once? Do you?"