be scientific, be intellectual
lecture me on cirrus aviaticus
how hot exhaust and particulates
condense and dance and disperse
over seconds, minutes, days, weeks–
tickle my brain with explanations
of contrail climate change
be magical, be mysterious
whisper to me how the ghosts
of every airline disaster
float behind those jets
billowy white fingers reaching
stretching for miles
clawing their way aboard
be ignorant, be earthbound
explain to me how you never once
look up to see those water lines
raking fingernails across a chalkboard sky
never bother with things so far away
when each spring’s preoccupation
is that the creek will rise too high
flooding out the garden sprouts
each summer is spent fretting
that it will run too low
and all the corn will wither
be lyrical, be poetic
write lines that catch my breath
before i exhale into the winter air
my own vapor trail that marks
if only for an instant
my passage through your life
By J. Lewis

J. Lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, nurse practitioner, and the editor of Verse-Virtual, an online journal and community. When he is not otherwise occupied, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California. He is the author of five full-length collections, plus eight chapbooks. Learn more at