Poetry: Flight by Melissa Wabnitz Pumayugra

Photo by the author.

My kid won’t stop screaming on this airplane
flight headed back to Texas from my husband’s
prior home, his country, this other land of rapid-fire language,
empanadas, concrete, stray dogs, beauty.

I cannot stop thinking of what to do to make the screaming stop,
The toddler growing increasingly angry,
passengers staring at me, waiting for a proclamation,
Or decree of silence.

I pull up my shirt, pull down my bra,
hoist my raw nipple into his mouth.
He bites angrily, the blood terror absolved,
the crowd omits a sigh of relief.

We don’t know when to return here, or there,
the guilt of a vacancy from work, family ties,
the luggage heavy with burdens and gifts,
I can’t wait to set it all down and finally cry.

Melissa Wabnitz Pumayugra (She/Her) is a Texas writer who enjoys a tall tale and a medium iced coffee. Her work centers around identity and cultural phenomena. Her photography and writing can be found on twitter (mel_the_puma), Hobart, Blood Orange Review, Emerson Review, Shirley Magazine, and in many other publications scattered throughout the globe.

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