You’re strapped in for the hour flight,

when a young woman, all flush and out

of breath, stops at your row, apologizes

with her eyes for making you get up.

You fumble with the seat belt, struggle

with your cane like a shy schoolboy

or a creaky invalid as you rise

to let her slide by. Thirty years ago

when you were young and a whole man,

she’d still be too cool and pretty for you.

If you tried to start a conversation now,

she’d turn your way, nod, be polite

and sweet, maybe pat you on the wrist

as if you were harmless. But the scent

of her hair fills you up and her tight

ass brushes your crotch and you hope

for the start of a hard on as you try

to recall the last time you were this close

to someone so beautifully alive. You both

fit head phones on. Music, the one thing

that hasn’t abandoned you. You daydream

while flying over some wooded expanse

that the same song will whisper secrets

into both of your ears’ and you both

will sing along as it leads you home.



Tony Anthony ism a life-long resident of New York City. His work has appeared in The Chiron Review, Rattle, The Raleigh Review, New Ohio Review and Nerve Cowboy (2002). My books include One Wish Left (Pavement Saw press 2002 and The Last Lie (NYQ Books/2010). Until The Last Light Leaves (NYQ Books 2015) was a finalist in the 2016 Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and focuses on my connection to an ex-girlfriend’s autistic son and my 35 years of managing group homes for the mentally challenged in Brooklyn.