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Cruising Altitude [Poetry]

by Travis Mossotti

On a flight to L.A., the Grand Canyon visible from both sides
of the plane, my father and I talk Revelation. To him
the atom smasher at CERN is where heaven collides

with science, with particles, with quantum physics,
and he says this much, feels he must remain vigilant
in his watch for the signs. By now we’re parsecs

apart. I tell him that, because I am a writer,
I distrust the written word, that I know the temptation
to lie for the sake of truth, that I do often err,

and that Truth seems as malleable as the Colorado River
lazing its way across the desert below us.
I ask if it’s the narrative he’s after,

but he says the last thing he wants to see is the story
played out in his lifetime. We are on the wing.
In the event of an unlikely emergency

there are duties we would need to perform to save
the lives of those around us. The canyon yawns.
I ask if his certainty about humanity’s course gives

his life some kind of purpose. He doesn’t sleep well.
I know this. I quote Yeats. He quotes scripture.
Light balances on the wing and casts its yellow spell

until we’re craning our necks to see out the window:
the cryptic path of erosion through salt cedar and pinyon.
This may not be a revelation, but it is a line we both can follow.


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