Snow Monkey
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Near the Airport

Kevin Conder

I turn to my friend
who I have just met
and he rocks back and forth
like a skier in a starting gate
and does not advance an inch.
The planes sweep over us
their huge shadows hurrying past
and there is a brief protest as
tires meet ground.
We watch the planes
until our bottles lie broken
and we are covered
with sweat.
My friend holds a watch he did not bring
and turns it over in a hand as hard as wood.
I count the change in my pocket and
have only enough for one fare.
It gets very dark
and the mountains disappear
the airport lights come on
and there are no stars.
When will the bus come
I ask my friend
but he does not know my name
and will not answer.