As we take our seats, we’re handed bags of rubies to make us more comfortable with the loss of loved ones. Flight attendants float through the dread with a choice
of complimentary beverages. The plane rises and heaves. We sit like lame ducks glaring at our SkyMalls. The pilot announces upon landing we’ll be hanged.
A teenager has smuggled a machete down his pants. (Don’t pull it out yet, Fabio.) The pilot says our sins will never be forgiven. Below us, the city writhes
in what might appear to be ecstasy, the mob’s fork stuck in its “democratic” heart.
-- Mike Puican’s work has appeared in journals such as Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review, and New England Review. His debut book of poetry, Central Air, was released by Northwestern University Press in August, 2020. He was a member of the 1996 Chicago Poetry Slam Team, and has been a long-time board member of the Guild Literary Complex. He teaches poetry to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals at the Federal Metropolitan Correctional Center and St. Leonard’s House, both in Chicago.