I wake up from my seat to a sudden
blue blasting from the window.
The sky looks certain as azure,
if not for its scant escort of clouds
and the crepuscular rays
escaping through them.
Perhaps requisite at this hour,
perhaps proofs of something more
divine?an assurance that
everything is all well and all right.
Six hours earlier I took off
at 11:30PM from a country
where men are beginning to learn
the left is right and the right is wrong.
There are men, too, who are once full of life
but now static in street corners, under a bridge,
or where the grass grow thick, sometimes
bearing messages on cardboard strips
that nobody could dare unread?
I have tried but everything slips
into permanence, destined to be recalled
like a malevolent incantation.
We are above Australia,
and at this hour the sky in my country
is still dark. A stewardess struts by,
her service trolley wheels humming
in their axles. At the far end of the cabin
some coins jangle and I am reminded of home.
I turn my head back as if I could tell
how far away I am now from everything.
Somewhere thousands of feet
below, the Great Barrier Reef
is dying, a world unto itself,
corals bleaching and breaking
like bones and brittle shanty doors.
For a second the plane takes a sharp dip,
and a collective gasp follows?one that could
only come from the refined honesty of fear.
I look around and find most of the
passengers settle back to sleep.
The seatbelt sign is on, my arm rests
damp with sweat. I close my eyes,
recalling which of my ancestor?s
prayers I need to recite.

By F Jordan Carnice

F. Jordan Carnice is a creative writing graduate at Silliman University and is also an information technology graduate at STI College. His works have seen print in Katitikan: Literary Journal of the Philippine South, Philippines Free Press, Philippines Graphic, Sunday Times Magazine, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, among other publications. He is a recipient of fellowships from several writing workshops in the Philippines and has served as a panelist twice in the Taboan Writers Festival. He has won the poetry grand prize in the 2020 Cebu Climate Emergency Literature and Arts Competition for his poem “There is Too Much Light in this World.” He has released two poetry collections—Weights & Cushions (2018) and How to Make an Accident (2019). He is also a visual artist whose works can be seen on the Instagram account @art.bullfrog

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