ELEGY FOR LUGGAGE
Only one container filled with residual words and old air,
the others, luggage, cheery print boxers from the Gap
and clothes involving straps and buckles,
goldfish cooled in plastic bags
tied inside Ziploc freezer keepers. Tubes of iodine and cork-
stopped jars of turmeric. Frozen pints of blood in styrofoam
wrapped in sheet music to keep them singing.
Everything is an airport, is stained
like an airport, has to be lived through like an airport
visible through the scrub blind and clean, the air spiteful, luke-
warm, an operating room for travel and regret.
The Detroit Metro E-Gate wing
where the short-hop planes mass and wait
has had enough of loss. Men in queues, eyes lit by momentary sex,
slide wedding bands into pockets. Men on the patch
sit at the smokeless Cheers franchise
in lint-rolled chamois shirts,
admonish each other, exfoliate their pricey drinks. Some chums
reminisce and pat each others' thighs.
Thieves troll the baggage claim for leftovers,
abandoned Samsonites with flimsy silver locks.
Voices Scheherazade in air to keep their loves
from leaving, and we are waiting for an urn
to arrive on the automatic belt
through the plastic flaps. Some of us have violence
in our hearts. Others departure. Some confess
under fluorescent lights. The snow outside trails down
from hammer-clouds, old and vague machines,
precipitation back-lit from street bulbs,
some darkened by pellet guns,
some idly burning targets.