Extra Legroom Needed


United States
26° 7' 27.3792" N, 80° 7' 44.0436" W

I'm not one for cramped spaces.
Four walls and a floor feel more
like a handicap than a home,
but if touch is still a sense,
and my fingers tell me that it is,
then my nerves make focal points of compression.

I see things clearly finally when I'm forced into a small space,
like how broad my shoulders are,
like how long me legs are,
like how wide my skin is,
this sheet of a patchwork of tiny under appreciated miracles.

On airplanes, my constrained body becomes an all seeing eye,
crossing countries, floating over fields,
I look at myself, a sardine packed in a tin can.
A fish out of water, a kid on his way to college,
leaving home for the last time.

I finally see how small that place was,
how narrowly I saw it all,
how their compression on my skin was keeping me
from spitting the rhymes that from time to time said
"Hey mime, I'm the way you're going to break out of the lines
they've pressed on all of your sides now listen to me."

I couldn't hear them at sea level, but at 30,000 feet,
packed into a seat my naïveté retreats and I can't avoid them.
As I'm stuck in seat 14A, I feel how tall I am for the first time.
I who had been bullied, and battered, and not broken,
I examine my bruises and say, "Beat you suckers!
My bones are not drumsticks for you to play with anymore,
they have grown like redwoods and they will not be felled-"
so I summon my strength and I blow out the windows and the cabin decompresses
not because I've shattered the walls
but because I've landed.

I stand up, I cue back in the line,
and my mind says, "No, what happened
to what I had, what happened to that height I felt,
how could I so easily forget the compression of flying?"
I search around, but I guess that's just how we operate on the ground.
Some parts got forgot but I know that those sounds I heard while in the clouds
are the ones that are gonna save me from the hounds.

Somewhere along the way I was taught
that our weight only extends as far as our skin,
but I've found that that's bullshit.
In the tales we will tell through our time here,
we will become so much taller than they ever could have thought,

and to me, the best part of being put in a box,
is realizing that no matter how cramped it feels,
you're really not.


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