You Won’t Need a Ticket

© 2014 Katherine Williams
"You Won’t Need a Ticket" was published as a broadside at Beyond Baroque Literary Art Center in Venice, California, as part of an ekphrastic challenge issued and curated by Matthew Mars aka Niblock.

You Are Here©2013 Matthew Mars
silkscreen, 16” x 11”
It’s only twenty-three miles up.
All you do is rise beyond the muggy
evening and then fall into the desert
night. Rise above the live oaks
and loblollies, above the monarchs
and geese beating against the Gulf
Stream, above the feverish alluvial
vat, into thunderhead, into ice.
You might have to bend your fingers
to steer between all the Boeings.
Your breath will crystallize,
and then you’ve reached slow
dark above blue dazzle.
This is the only hard part:
you have to stay in place,
not get stuck in geostationery orbit.
To pass the time, you can count
to fourteen thousand four-hundred
or replay Lonesome Dove or all six
Bach Cello Suites, or maybe repeat
OK Computer or Psalm Twenty Three
or OM in your mind, and just float.
Or watch the once-majestic
Blue Ridge continue dissolving
into delta, naming the cities that pass
below as the Mississipi, Ozarks,
prairie, mesas and hoodoos, and the High
Sierras all turn towards sunrise.
Then clasp hands and dive
twenty-three miles, down through contrails,
brushing the tops of sequoias making
their passage eastward. Drop down
through the weatherless signals
blasting from atop Mount Wilson, past Tshirted
skiers scraping Mt. Baldy. Let internet data
and monoxide fumes pass through
your body and, one toe bent to guide
yourself above the traffic of I-10,
you’ll alight onto the sands of Venice,
not thirsty, not hungry, nor airport-weary,
but with your mouth full of stars.