“No Flights Until Morning”

The runways were covered by late afternoon, nothing moved out there but the occasional noble snow plow carrying on with a yellow grimace, the big jets were barely visible like whale herds sleeping off the blast. The concourses, so frantic a few hours ago, were almost still, a few meanderers chatted on their cell phones and looked at watches. Some who couldn’t bear the limbo lined up at the ticket counters to argue with clerks who rolled their eyes. Expectations that could not be denied on this of all days were denied, deadlines that couldn’t be missed were missed, helpless executives threw up their hands, meetings went on without them, soldiers with orders gave up with good cheer and played video games as if this was finally the last place and not all that bad, stranded students slept on backpacks, wedding guests rode the escalators with vacant stares, imagining the bride. I stayed quiet and thought of you; checked my passport, read my ticket again, then again like a spy with only a name to get me out, a thousand miles from my life.