the red-eye plane
sleeps. i should, too. but no: i scroll through
the ipad, eyes blurry, to find a familiar show
or movie, where i know every arc of pain
and love so well that what's fiction and what's true
blur, too. i don't even know
the names of the characters. it's Emma Thompson who gives her husband no
time to explain in plain
English why he was not true
to her. no, she never shouts: we're through.
but her eyes scream: pain.
the shadow of how Branagh (that Shakespearean show-
off) discarded her thirty years ago, as they know
all too well over there, across the pond, her pain
playing out in the papers as he threw
their marriage away; it's true
to life. or at least, in the way something feels true
in a dream or show
or movie on the hundredth time through.
look: i just know
the exact ache in my ribs as Colin Firth eyes his lover across the plains
of France and the pain
of Hugh Grant's door-to-door campaign
for love feels so real. and when the girl sings: make my wish come true
and it's plain
to everyone except Keira Knightly that his eyes show
the truth. i’m not ashamed to cry every time he lets her know:
to me, you are perfect, through
the clouds and foggy window pane
i can almost imagine the blur of the city i know
too well. the captain comes on: it's true.
on the screen, the nativity show
must go on, but i’ve come home to our earthly plane.
i deplane before Liam Neeson's boy even gets a chance to run through
Heathrow. i show up at Mom's, feel the familiar pain
and love. no actors here - this is true. i know.
Tiff M. Z. Lee is a Canadian living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she contemplates fairytales and sea creatures. She can be found online at tiffmzlee.com.