Here is no destination,

but the hazy finale of a hasty departure.

My half-baked attempt

to escape a conspiracy of

normalcy; drift for a time

on the simple tide of uncertainty.

That’s why I’ve come.


(Korea: the Hermit Kingdom.

Land of the morning calm.

Land of Buddha, Confucius, Christ.

Home for dragons. The Asian tiger.

A peninsula engulfed in mystery.)


So roll my thoughts,

as the first sight of luminescent green

peeks from beneath the wing of

this 747. A fistful of peanuts

and half-dozen cocktails churn

in my belly as I level a drawn out gaze

across the heat-seeking tarmac—

Korean Air touches down,

sucks air, jolts and bucks

to taxiing speed.


On the ground

the world beyond

the window’s monocle looks

not much different than the one

I left behind: steel and concrete,

people and cars, love and betrayal.


Deplaning—a backpack

slung over my should like

evidence to be dumped—

the pretty Korean flight attendant

says anyanghaeseyo then goodbye

then smiles in the way that tells me

she knows something I don’t.