Dream as Datti Kapella

Artefact: Cover photograph of Femme Mirror, volume 28, issue 4, Winter, 2003.

Three hours fifty
Non-stop flight
Datti’s lifting up out of the D.C. heat
Strapped in
Centre seat
Palms, nails extended on smooth nylon skirt
Repeating her internal mantras
Bargaining with the heavens
To get her back to Jennie
The dogs, the cats
The horses
In one piece
An intact body
She knows too much math
Can visualise her own obliteration
As an informed professional
The multiple scenarios of likely disaster
Fingers crossing
Now that she’s in the reality of this choice of hers
Head pushed back, jaw rattling
For the probability percentage of
No turbulence, of
Landing smoothly, of
Stepping out through the slipping glass doors
Into fumes and horns
Bodies switching across in front of her
Behind her
A whirl of souls targeting their destinations
Magnetic in their wish to be elsewhere
There’s Jennie
Revealed by a gap in the traffic
Hanging out of the window of the dark green truck
Shouting something
Her name
Popping the trunk
Datti sees this
Lets go
The space between her and Jennie down to metres, now
Realises her teeth have been clenched all this while
And then time accelerates
Tyres eating miles
Lakes glistening
Flattening under shadow
Mountains folding up out of the Denver edges
Dust and rock cracking into peaks
The land hoiked up to the blue
Hooked from the late summer clouds
Scrawled, cursively
Jennie flips through radio stations 
With her right hand
Until she finds
Fleetwod Mac
Jennie’s voice jumping in with Stevie’s
A half-beat behind
Singing of that Landslide
Pressing until the windows retreat all the way down
Gone like a magic trick
Whipping air blasting into the truck
The chorus dragged out across the highway
Up to hang in the breeze for the grackles
And the chickadees