Emergency Exit

No one’s awake when you walk
To the back of the plane
And look out the tiny porthole
Of the emergency exit:

Far below, you see
Fishing boats in the night.
Sleepy fishermen catch
Sleepy fish in the dark,

While wind spits into
Their spattered sleeves.
Wielding wet nets,
They think about their wives,

Whose moist mouths move
Like the mouths of carp.
You wish you were down there
On one of the boats,

Talking with fishermen about
What it’s like to spend nights
On the ocean and days asleep
With wives who feel like waves.

You’d ask if
Airplanes are the
Right place to be when
You’re not sure where to go.

Soon the fishermen are far away.
All you see are their lights
Bobbing on the blackness.
Those lights look like eye sand

And form a secret code,
But the plane isn’t high enough
To see the entire message,
And even if it was, you wouldn’t obey.