Mothers tired at the seams,
Breasts slumped like hounds
On terracotta siesta floors.
The pungent dark of Spanish gardens
Lingers. They wear the heat still,
These skin-wrapped bodies,
Burnished and tender as
The nights left behind.
Ruffle of hair that remembers
The shape and kink of other reposes --
Water's shrill embrace,
Muffled rush of a world dragged under;
Fleshy drownlands of shuttered
Afternoon apartamento rooms;
Or the cool air brush of ceiling fans
That wobble when fast.
Children scale the seat backs,
Unbuckled at last. Eye-spy
A loved one down the canary yellow
Cabin aisle. Chin-jut jostle and scrum
As bags cascade into waiting laps.
A moment of triumph before
The final push. And luggage,
Like the weather, a conversational refrain;
The currency that binds: from strangers
To mass-transit brothers and sisters in arms.
An excess baggage terrorist,
The girl in 21C is no longer in tears.
A departure gate bust sent her
Crashing down to earth.
Outside, the hum of floodlit northern skies
Welcomes her home.