Charles Harper Webb

Here you will find the Poem Reservations Confirmed of poet Charles Harper Webb

Reservations Confirmed

The ticket settles on my desk: a paper tongue 
pronouncing "Go away;" a flattened seed 
from which a thousand-mile leap through the air can grow. 

It's pure potential: a vacation-to-be 
the way an apple is a pie-to-be, 
a bullet is a death-to-be. Or is the future 

pressed into it inalterably?woven between 
the slick fibers like secret threads 
from the U.S. Treasury? Is my flight number 

already flashing as cameras grind and the newly-
bereaved moan? Or does it gleam under Arrivals, 
digits turned innocuous as those that didn't 

win the raffle for a new Ford truck? 
If, somewhere, I'm en route now, am I 
praying the winged ballpoint I'm strapped into 

will write on Denver's runway, "Safe and Sound"? 
Was my pocket picked in Burbank, 
and I've just noticed at thirty thousand feet? 

Am I smiling, watching the clouds' icefields 
melt to smoky wisps, revealing lakes 
like Chinese dragons embroidered in blue below? 

Lifting my ticket, do I hold a bon voyage, 
or boiling jet streams, roaring thunderstorms, 
the plane bounced like a boat on cast iron seas, 

then the lightning flash, the dizzy plunge,
perfectly aware (amid the shrieks and prayers)
that, live or die, I won't survive the fall?