Lennon and Ledger

I sat next to a woman
who looked exactly like
       John Lennon–

              the haircut, glasses,
              everything–
                     believe me
                     when I tell you
                     she even had
                     “Let It Be”
                     clutched in her lap
                     white-knuckled
                     on repeat.

I was A1
since day one, baby,
although my boarding pass
said 11A. It didn’t seem
to bother anyone. I was keeping
       Delta connecting flight DL4024
       operated by Endeavor DBA Delta CNX
       a Delta connecting flight
              afloat
                     with my mind.

The flight attendant
looked exactly like
       Heath Ledger
       as the Joker,
       no joke–
              her lipstick
              stretched frantically
              just past a
              too-toothy smile.

I watched her hands shake
during drink service, unsure
which stainless steel compartment
she slammed and carbonated hiss
held the secret truth;
I would have to will
each vodka tonic
not to spill as the ice rattled
down the aisle.

       Lennon wouldn’t let me have a drink.
       She disapproved.

Each light in the yellow grass
fields below became the dots
of a great mandala, a flower
blooming just underneath
us all. I had kept four planes
from crashing that day. I had flown
across the ocean. I had not slept
in 10 days. There was

some turbulence. Lennon clutched
Paul harder. I apologized
for upsetting her.

       She told me, “You’re a good kid,
       but some of us are trying to go home now.”

Didn’t care much for that.
Portentous words for a surreal
       reality.

I focused harder
on the swamps of houses,
each streetlamp beam
and flickering screen, headlights,
flashes against glass, connected, a great
network of crossing streams
       that I lifted
       (with my mind)
              to float us softly
              to the ground
                     like a cobweb.

When Ledger showed me
to my seat she grinned, eyes narrowed,
       “A1? You sure?
              Sometimes it can be
              a bummer.”

It was,
       and yet
              I haven’t crashed.

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