FLIGHT 800

A scarred and blackened arm protrudes
from the hot beach sand.
Hand and pointer finger skyward extend
silently accusing heaven from where it fell.
To the right the beige shore line runs straight-
JFK Airport disappears in haze.
A small plane climbs into the overcast sky,
unlike the tragic seven-forty-seven
its wings sway up-and-down intrepidly.

Above watery grave
rescuers float on endless gray-green swells.
Their tears split by sun's dimmed rays.

Seagulls flutter above the surf.
A sea breeze blows painfully onto shore.
I swallow the wet sea air
and taste the salt in my throat.

Why did that silver bird
with glass eyes in its beak
fall through the air?

- Bernard Otterman