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First Date With My Second Daughter

By Jae Newman

Heading east over the Pacific, our legs

bound by right angles, we did not speak.

Tilted seats folding back knees,

I could not sleep, red eye, or recline.

No watch could compass muted time.

Up on the monitor a small plane icon

floats along its dotted line. Flying

in a gradual arc, its speed in flux,

the Captain says we've got a tail wind

whipping us ahead, back into the past.

Here, on a Saturday we split into two,

I mark time for you. Watching you within

the womb, I just have peanuts. This theater

isn't much. But with your mother asleep,

we listen to the slap of wind and cabin

as movie after movie plays in loop,

borrowed headphones feeding

sound through skin, blood, and water

until looking around, we're the only ones awake,

our flights drifting towards order, on time,

neither wanting to be late.

JAE NEWMAN lives with his wife and daughters in Churchville. He teaches creative writing and composition at Jamestown and Monroe Community Colleges, and is co-editor of the poetry podcast series Red Lion Square.