Neil Hilborn

How miraculous that we all
keep our shit together. How miraculous
that no one has a premonition of flames
and tries to open the cabin door. The airline
pilot next to me keeps his eyes closed
during takeoff and landing. He does not
drink anything. I have an orange juice
with no ice. I want to watch the horizon
as it gets farther away. This man
might just be smarter than me, but he is also
flying coach and reading the sports section
while I do crosswords, so he is probably
still smarter than me. Pretension
can look like intelligence if you squint
hard enough or wear glasses. There are,
for some reason, always Buddhist monks
in the Philadelphia airport. Buddhist monks
rewrapping their robes. This is my sixth time
in this airport. My sixth time because of two
different women. I have paid probably
a couple thousand dollars for the privilege.
Five cheesesteaks. Surprisingly good caramel
popcorn. Maybe thirty hours, five just trying
to find outlets. How miraculous that I can go
basically anywhere. How miraculous, the doors,
the wings, the recycled air. How miraculous,
flight is just a fall that never finds the ground.