Red Coat

The years fly by — how many have said that
but you’re living it now
*
This red winter coat you’ve dragged from the closet
has had another life on the fridge. Where were
we? How old were they? She answers:
Peter’s, Oregon. Ten and six
*
And now you explore the hidden pockets and come up
with a City Guide (in English) you picked up in Amsterdam.
Why did I keep that? Where were we going? But she’s
not there to answer
*
You easily get on. Seat 12A and you have the row
to yourself
*
The wipe they gave you is like a puzzle
to open
*
Airplane mode. But you can still ping-pong
between Herbert (poetry) and Coetzee
(prose)
*
You open the shade but close it again: the only view
is a wing and tarmac

When you open the shade a second time (you fell asleep
during takeoff), your eyes scan a patchwork of browns
and blacks until they find the matte gray braids
of the Platte

About the author

R L Swihart was born in Michigan but now resides in Long Beach CA. (He just completed a “road trip” — from Long Beach…

Read the full bio

Issue 24 · September 2021

Table of contents