Jet

jet
Jet
by Tony Hoagland
Sometimes I wish I were still out
on the back porch, drinking jet fuel
with the boys, getting louder and louder
as the empty cans drop out of our paws
like booster rockets falling back to Earth
and we soar up into the summer stars.
Summer. The big sky river rushes overhead,
bearing asteroids and mist, blind fish
and old space suits with skeletons inside.
On Earth, men celebrate their hairiness,
and it is good, a way of letting life
out of the box, uncapping the bottle
to let the effervescence gush
through the narrow, usually constricted neck.
And now the crickets plug in their appliances
in unison, and then the fireflies flash
dots and dashes in the grass, like punctuation
for the labyrinthine, untrue tales of sex
someone is telling in the dark, though
no one really hears. We gaze into the night
as if remembering the bright unbroken planet
we once came from,
to which we will never
be permitted to return.
We are amazed at how hurt we are.
We would give anything for what we have.

4 thoughts on “Jet

  1. Beautiful. Guys hanging out drinking beer on a summer night celebrating their gender in reminiscent regretful euphoria. The imagery linking the “jet” theme connects brilliantly: beer as “jet fuel,” “the empty cans (that) drop out of our paws like booster rockets falling back to Earth,” the guys “soar (ing) up into the summer stars,” yet imagining up there “old space suits with skeletons inside,” the remnants of their former selves, “remembering the bright unbroken planet we once came from, to which we will never be permitted to return,” a great image for the womb. All this, with the “hairiness,” “effervescence gush,” “crickets” and “fireflies” with their “appliances” and “dots and dashes” in the middle stanzas. The last two lines then nakedly attest to their deep felt humanity, with paradoxical poignancy.

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