The radio said a Cessna made an emergency landing
ont the same side of the freeway I was driving on
minutes earlier. This happened in Gallup
on the way to Salt Lake City from Dallas. So,
I have convinced myself I can make something of it
because one can take such liberties in poetry, the way a gull
dives for food at the stern of a ferry
while crossing the bay. A similar thing happened
five years later while driving back from cold nights
in San Francisco, the sea made me homesick
for the coast of Texas, Baytown, where I cut my foot
on the beach. There, I saw two men pulling
a sack of seaweed from the water. A boy my age
had drowned. The undertow, brought him there
from a mile away. He shouldn’t have been out anyway,
the water was too cold. He was only doing what I would have
had I not seen him blue and swollen.
But I cut my foot and left a thread of blood
to my aunt’s back porch. She told me to wade in the ocean
because salt water was good for hurts.
The water was too cold that day, I said.
And so, driving back from San Francisco I saw that Cesna
parked on the side of the highway like it belonged there.
And there was no news of it, because the night before
John Lennon was murdered; the radio played nothing
but his music and talk of his death.
Soon south of the Great Salt Lake, the smell
made me think of where I had been the day before.
Then, the radio said something about a Cessna
making an emergency landing. It was too cold
that day for wading.