Sounds in the cabin before take‐off: stale generic buzzing, carry‐on bags shifting overhead, knuckles cracking, diffusion of encapsulated air. I sat on the edge of the middle row. A woman in the seat in front of me was separated by the aisle from her husband and two year old son. The child cried and whined, his distress increasing as the plane begins to move across ground. As speed gathers to a point when the floor rattles and turbines begin their violent whirling, his mother’s hand reaches across the aisle. She wraps his fist in the sprawl of her fingers. His eyes multiply; silent, white, two saucers holding an ink pool of black. Dilation: pupils expand to make a tunnel and allow the calm rush of busy air to enter inside. What is inside?
At the precise moment of lift, he is hushed. I close my eyes and go to the space between pavement and air. I grow into the decompression, the wheels recoiling. The gap becomes. A lark releases her grip on the branch. At the same moment, feathers are peeling off feathers. A slant space for light to break through grows beneath her rising wings.
A bubble pops, and then there is flight.