We were descending, and sounds rushed
into the now-opened portal to the eardrum:
the shudder of the jet powering back, suddenly.
vulnerable to the wind, the hydraulic hum
of wing flaps extending to cup more air, and then
a new pitch of sound as air scoured the landing

gear. I woke, my cheek against
the window, and through the dark
the amber and sapphire lamps of coastal towns
welled up, dilating into suns as I plummeted—
and then my eyes opened fully and the flaring
worlds subsided into beaded channels

where headlights passed,
as orderly as the single file of cell
after cell in a capillary. Cloud vapor subdivided into smaller
spheres, fanning out along the glass into
a miniature runway of landing lights. As we banked,
the molten-metal fingers of the estuaries

flashed like a tilted daguerreotype
under the full moon. Here
the shelter of Long Island turns the ocean's
chunk-glass waves to a molten
flatness, to a sound whose skin
glitters over dark bars of motionless water.