The Fuselage 
We were packed tightly in a thin tin tube. I was not upset, I had spent many days and nights packed in tubes, even packed tightly. As the morning swelled above, the tube became a sort of kettle, popping and boiling under mean sunshine. I was not upset by being boiled, I knew that sweat was good medicine. I knew the luring lull of a throb-throbbing fever. I knew cool release beyond the fever’s wake which awaited the patient patient. But the air, or the lack of it, by this I was upset. We were all trapped, pinned up against tiny windows and squished between shared armrests. Duffel Bags and thermoses and Air Mall magazines filling the gaps between limbs.

 The Bicameral Woman
There were only two who dared stand, but these two (too) were trapped.  Pinned. Pushed up against a snack cart that rolled between them. The aisle which ran the median of the tube was precisely wide enough for this cart, so that no waif could slide or sidle past. One woman was fore the cart, the other aft. They would never meet. The cart must always lie between them. To this day the apartheid cart separates them. They could not approach each other physically or exchange positions, but they have a ritual by which the two become one. Miss Fore began to pantomime, while Miss Aft narrated over the speaker. A voice aligned with a body, and this new bicameral woman sang of cabin pressure and danced with a tiny mask, a talisman for those desperate for air. It was then when I realized the flaw in the tube. They had packed us in so tightly, had they left enough room for air?  

Death on the Runway
Most aviation disasters happen on the runway. On the runway, an aircraft is at its closest proximity to other planes, vehicles and of course the ground. Proximity increases risk and magnifies the consequences of error. A final family arrived in the tube, and were squeezed into the seats in front of me. A parade of plump bodies, bodies approaching spheres in form. At eight-thirty in the morning, they all carried steaming boxes of fried chicken and french fries which they consumed with the grace of a hyena clan. Munching broken only by ebonic banter and barked laughs. Surely they knew the situation? Surely they did not mean to soil the remaining veins of air? Why had the TSA not confiscated their food? Surely this family, in their size and aroma, were as much a threat to us in the cramped cabin as any bomb or pistol. Lack of air. The womæn had promised that lack of air would cause the yellow masks to deploy. I looked overhead and prayed for the yellow masks to deliver us, but they did not. Were we not worthy? Were we not among those to be saved? I, politely, rushed aft to find air, or to find a corner in which to suffocate privately.  At this, the bicameral woman split, and her aft half stopped me. Politely, she denied my plea.“you can’t use the bathroom right now, we’ll let you know when you can get out of your seat. You have to sit down.” Powerless and polite, I returned to my seat, wretched like an animal and died. In death, time spun ahead of me. I saw the plane melt down over a long stretch of weeks compressed into a brief fever dream. I saw it crumple and erupt and tear apart: 

Thin Tin Tube
The fuselage, packed and hot, began to fill with jungle. Violent. Fecund. Burning. Hot corpses with liquid insides fermented in the cabin, swollen with gas. Purple tongues bulging out, anoxic fumes seeped from ear holes, nostrils, bubbling from sunken pupils made mushy by worm work. The rot quickly overcame us. Fungi and vines crawled over the soil heaps that had once been passengers. Gnarled brush crowded windows and hid doorway, and swamp rose in the aisle. Rats fought centipedes for gnawing rights at loose finger bones.   Fat black fies poured from shirt collars and erupted from boot mouths. They swarmed, shredding the cavities of air that remained. I was being digested. Grown over and broken down, denatured, decomposed. I was made back to loam. The flies filled my lungs and battered and blended the fine structure within. They occluded my vision and drowned out all sound.  Could they- Could I wield them? Could I tear with their claws, like so many machetes, and rip the jungle back? Carve it open? Could I grasp the fizzle and thrash of their wings, give them rhythm and swing them like hammers to beat intention back into the world? Could pound it to pulp? Scrape it clean? Or could I smear their grime in deliberate strokes, cut letters on the leaves around me? Could I turn this mess into something legible?