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  • Writer's pictureTimothy S. Colman

Jet a poem by Tony Hoagland

Sometimes I wish I were still out

 on the back porch, drinking jet fuel

 with the boys, getting louder and louder

 as the empty cans drop out of our paws

 like booster rockets falling back to Earth

and we soar up into the summer stars.

 Summer. The big sky river rushes overhead,

 bearing asteroids and mist, blind fish

 and old space suits with skeletons inside.

 On Earth, men celebrate their hairiness,

and it is good, a way of letting life

 out of the box, uncapping the bottle

 to let the effervescence gush

 through the narrow, unusually constricted neck.

And now the crickets plug in their appliances

 in unison, and then the fireflies flash

 dots and dashes in the grass, like punctuation

 for the labyrinthine, untrue tales of sex

 someone is telling in the dark, though

no one really hears. We gaze into the night

 as if remembering the bright unbroken planet

 we once came from,

 to which we will never

 be permitted to return.

 We are amazed how hurt we are.

 We would give anything for what we have.

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