Leigh Lucas: For Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


I see myself in the child in you. Below us I see
                                                                                                       fields of sand. Breath is
                            all        there is
                                                    between us.

This airplane is aluminum and tin, thin
                                        between us and a zillion stars.  

I carry the canteen gently to your cracked lips, cradle
your head and let you drink. You clear your throat and tell my favorite story.

Your voice, the engine,

                    until I drift off              
                                                                  and we drift,                 we drift.

When I was a child, for a time, books saved me.
I didn’t know the source of danger.

So let slip the controls.

Speak low and soft.

Say amour.       My soldier.       Artist. Postman. Pilot.

I’ll rewrite
the way it went.

                                                                                                                                       No nosedive, no storm, no
lightning strike. No twisted metal, no flames or fear. No disillusionment, no grief. No bed monster, no
boogie man. I steer you planet-ward and steady the rattling craft.

There are important letters for us to deliver.

They overflow the sack between us.      

                                                                                    Some come loose,
                                                                                                                their pages swirl
                                                                                                around us,

blurring words

like hope,         always, chérie, j’adore,            frankly, from stories made,       
told,     retold,             remade—                     in holy lies.