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Oliver Benjamin                            
Roy felt wonderful and he could not say why. There was so much
poetry in the world, overflowing letters scribbled into everything,
everywhere one cared to look. It was almost too much to bear, these
endless encyclopedic ellipses.
The plane shuddered and veered, causing Roy to spill the last of
his drink down his shirt. “Damn!” he shouted. The other passengers
cried out too.
Crash, drunk, remained calm. “Turbulence!” he loudly assured
them all.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the Captain’s voice came over the
loudspeaker, “I am sorry to announce that we have undergone
catastrophic engine failure. This will force us to attempt a sea
The cabin filled with the squawks and screams of the heavy,
flightless creatures.
“We will glide towards the water and do our best to touch down
lightly. Soon we will be asking you to assume the crash position. For
any of you who require divine inspiration, please look out the
starboard window.”
They lurched to the right.
The Captain explained, “That is a full circular rainbow below us,
hovering above the ocean. It is only visible from great heights and
from a particular angle to the sun. I suggest you take this opportunity
to witness one of nature’s rarest beauties, before we attempt to skim
the surface of the sea.”
“How lucky to have had this perspective,” Roy said.
“It’s been nice knowing you, Roy.”
“You too.”
“Let’s assume the position,” Crash said. He tried, but his belly
prevented him from bending over all the way.
Roy chose to remain sitting erect. Through the oval window he
caught sight of the rainbow and above it, the evening star, the first
pinpoint of light through to break through the vast blue wall.
In the morning it was the morning star and in the evening, the
evening star. And not a star at all, in fact. Venus, impossible paradise,
burning hot under green fire. Lucifer, the light-bringer, straining
towards the heavens and descending into madness. Broken sister,
banished brother, seen from afar, perpetually out of reach. The
greatest love Roy had ever known poured through him like wine. He
pressed himself up hard against the glass.
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