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The Contents May Have Shifted While in Flight

The Atlantic stretches out like a rippled gray quilt
stung by patches of wrinkled tin foil
until the whole sea shifts into a shimmer,

interrupted only by the dull echoes of clouds.

It's all a matter of the way the light hitsó

and the light hits the clouds like they're canyons
of billowed, piled gray and it streams
through in a rain of orange

that goes on for miles and pools into swirls of ornament

across the dark water and the silver wing

of the plane and a glass of tequila
in the stylish cafe where I get for a long time to study
the face of a woman I've thought of as

rival. Her eyes now register kindness.
I see her soften and the fear I have carried

melts as silently as ice in the orange-tinged

glass as if there were never meant to be any effort

and it is easy, it is simple and it is almost not sad
to have to accept the sea change in this light
as I prepare to walk through the next few months

like a mirror reflecting everyone I see

in a blank, flat shine.

Sarah Maclay

Music for the Black Room
University of Tampa Press

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