Two Rosaries and a Pair of Shoes

The flight attendant passes out hot towels
for our hands, and the bald guy in front of me
wipes his entire head with it. Smiling, I glance
down and, in the light from the plane window,

notice a faint indentation on my finger
where my wedding ring wrapped itself
for ten years. Four years removed and I can still
see it, in just the right light, on a plane to Boston,

behind a bald man’s clean and shiny head. I listen
to Rachmaninoff, Opus 23, on my headphones
as we pass through nothing but white.
The man next to me spits food on my scarf

as he introduces himself, and we both act
like it didn’t happen—I don’t ask him anything
when dessert comes. A voice comes over the PA,
asking if anyone claims a bag

containing two rosaries and a pair of shoes.
No one presses their button, and, assuming
it’s someone from the previous flight, I wonder
if the person who owns those things

realizes they are making their way without them.


Published in Roanoke Review December 2018

This poem may not be reproduced without the author’s permission.