Today's poem is by Hayden Saunier

Tips for Domestic Travel

If you walk up, weeping, to an airline counter
one hour before flight and three days after

elevated warnings of terrorist attacks,
you should expect the body search

of a lifetime, even if you aren't wearing
an underwire bra. If you are, expect the sounds

that emanate from your breasts to summon
additional personnel and bomb-sniffing dogs

to the scene. Gloved women will work a wand
around your chest, ponder beeps and whines,

while men unpack your underwear, unzip
your tampon pouch. Impossible to think

someone could be dying during this. Bereft
of wristwatch, car keys, spare change, you walk

through portals, your shoes beside you, traveling
a scuffed black river in a plastic tub—

isn't this the way we keep death at bay?
By taking off our clothes? Of course, someone

is dying; someone is dying as you wait,
as you walk; someone is dying as you enter

the glassed-off security box, assume the requested
wide-legged stance. You lift your arms out wide,

as though for the embrace you're traveling
toward, the one that won't arrive,

but you don't know that, all you know is
you're the image sent in capsules

into outer space: Leonardo's Vitruvian Man,
alarms singing on both sides of your heart.

Copyright © 2009 Hayden Saunier All rights reserved
from Tips for Domestic Travel
Black Lawrence Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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