The Project

By Rebecca Close

Freedom, meaning the absence of impediments of motion.

But motion is obscenely exaggerated in flying.

An illusory feeling of imprisonment, when I fly.

When I deliberate what to do next. Each rejection

of a possibility. Each lunch. Every time

I watch a rom-com.

This is the winning visa works if you steady your hand,

if you look him in the eye,

if you don’t concentrate too hard on hoping for benevolence

at the border

while considering how that is the actual opposite of hope.

We move like magicians, but the officers came.

Flying is the expedient of motion. The airplane wants liberty –

the power to move. As when a stone lies,

as when your mother lies (fastened to her bed),

as when I speak to myself – It’s ok, it’s ok,

it’s just like a bus going up and down. As when water speaks

to itself – I can make high waves, I can rush down hill I can plunge

foaming and gushing I can rise freely as a stream of water into the air (in a fountain).

I am doing none of these things now and am voluntarily remaining

clear water with you on the plane leaving Frankfurt.

With my head pressed against the seat in front, I paddle the reflecting pond of the past;

a quiet guaranteed by the fact that marriage cannot marriage backwards.

I read a book: pleasurable and difficult or certainly out of order

when seen from the perspective of the continuity of the airplane.

The book and I watch each other like new friends: I want to dominate you,

I want you to dominate me.

The chain rolls on and on then breaks, 

when one of us falls into the ocean,

blurring the words.

All that actual space created gets erased.

As nothing was written down.

As nothing was produced.

As all the choices were in life and not in the text.

It makes me recall the subtitle of a magazine article I once didn’t get around to reading: “Plummeting from the skies, a project struggles desperately for life.”

Emma SapersteinComment