NPM 7


I. Bellingham International

I forgot to take my shoes
off at the security check.
They don’t let you forget.

In the terminal
I am encouraged
to give Nopalea a try.

It’s made from the Sonora
desert’s cactus fruit.
One happy testimonial

said she was first turned on
to it at church. Three days ago
I was at my first church service

in years. Everyone who used
to be there was still there,
but blurred at the edges,

and me with my four-day beard.
The flight was overbooked,
and someone had to give up

their seat for $300 in vouchers.
I’ve always wanted to be
that someone. I’ve heard ubiquity

is in fashion this time of year.
Nopalea’s sound was overdubbed
by an Orange Homeland Security Alert.

On the TV screen a woman
in a pink blouse went from
mouthing snake oil to coloring fear.

And now the pre-boarding twist:
Nopalea isn’t a product for you,
but a Trivita business opportunity.

It’s one thing to wake to these
indoctromercials after falling asleep
to a movie, everything overglowing.

II. Seatac

And shame on me to think
I was pre-planning
what I would write
when I touched down.

I sat by the left wing
of a small propeller plane
and when it took off
I felt like I was riding
a rolling pin attached
to two pizza cutters

but before that I looked
at the plane and expected
Dan Akroyd in a pointless cameo,
Kate Capshaw at my side,
me triumphantly yelling
“Nice try, Lao Che!”
before slamming the door
and sleeping with my fedora
over my eyes among the chicken
crates as the red line on the map
drew its line, and it was a short line.

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