Thursday, July 21, 2011


Suspended thirty-eight thousand feet in recycled
air, somewhere south of Greenland's frozen tips,
halfway between old world and the new,
but feeling every moment that much closer
to the America four jumbo jets thrust us towards
courtesy of the high school trip
to Austria or Switzerland, maybe both,
that has trapped me in this adolescent sea
of squeals and flying objects, eight hours of giggly
teenagers facing backwards in their seats
engaged in multiple and variegated mating rituals
fueled by too much European chocolate
and a bittersweet need to chronicle this,
their final day together.  Meanwhile,
the same Jennifer Aniston love comedy
plays across screens attached to the seat backs
surrounding us—two dozen miniaturized floating
images of Jennifer's bouncing hair and breasts,
tanned legs running through a deathless California summer,
fleeing the dim-witted man-boy
the movie will insist she eventually marry.
My seatmate discourses loudly to her girlfriends
what constitutes a Hollywood hunk, erupts
abruptly into Lady Gaga song in mid-sentence,
while the placid green ocean below winks silently up at me
and I dream the dream of exchanging places
with Jennifer, even should it require me
to run away, anywhere,
wearing her four-inch stiletto heels.

 About Tony Magistrale:
Tony Magistrale was born in Buffalo, New York.  He received a B.A. from Allegheny College, M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.  He is currently Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of Vermont.  He has also taught at the Breadloaf Young Writers Conference and has served as a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Milan, Italy, and Visiting Professor at the University of Augsburg, Germany.  His book of poems, What She Says About Love, won the 2007 Bordighera Poetry Prize and was subsequently published in 2008 as a bilingual edition by the Bordighera Press and the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at City University of New York.

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