In-flight entertainment

Nina Lindsay

At the close of the bridge
of "The Rainbow Connection"

Animal takes up his drumsticks
once again, severing

anxiety from anger
so it can fall toward joy. Yesterday,

standing with my eyes closed by the water
after eating grilled fish in Burano

held together by the tiles and cobbles
in their fields of horizontals, the grey lines

of Venice in the distance, daisy weeds
at the water's edge--tongue blades of alternating sizes,

overlapping, looking upward.
Chorus of sun-struck ripples

broken now and then by waves.
Breath by song. And here:

crown after crown of the heads of all my fellow
airline passengers, instructions for living pipilating

from their wired earpieces, and the shuffling
pulse of profile, as here or there one turns to face another.

The gathering suggests a pattern,
but when I finally give up on order, or message

I find habit, insistence,
appetite without epiphany,

delight on its endless loop:
foot tread on sandwich wrapper,

clams knocking, bees in flower,
water slapping harbor wall,

lips smacking on fingers laced
with warm fish oil.

The creak of seats
under butts, fluid rush of blood cells

bumping crazily together in capillaries.
The settling of the heart,

its turning-over, like a motor,
having heard the refrain enough to understand

why it must be played again and again. Floyd says,
handing Animal the drumsticks:

"You know what to do."
And though I hadn't been certain

I was ready to return to this,
here I am.

Animal Plays His Eyes

Animal Lights His Lights