Heading into unbreakable cloud piñatas

in the good-crazy clock-world,

we go back in time, allowing

the kissing teens in the seats ahead

to seal a deathless past and enter

the next one as ALIVE & IN-LOVE,

which should but doesn't sink behind

in the contrails of an empire failing

by its ongoing optimism spoken with

a hand over a heart. It all lingers a little

on those locked mouths up ahead where

May waits, fading into the past's future,

this cargo more precious than we've ever

been, or will be, as we land upon our land.

Nance Van Winckel is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Our Foreigner, winner of the Pacific Coast Poetry Prize (Beyond Baroque Press, 2017) and Book of No Ledge (Pleiades Press Visual Poetry Series, 2016).