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M A R C H   1 9 9 7

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by Brad Leithauser

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Sunlit inlets,
hot blinding gold
gliding through tight-
stitched tapestries
of living green;
and skies azure
from one long out-
slung horizon
to the other,
ether without
flaw or tincture,
unshadowed and
unsoundable . . .

One might as well,
on such a day,
call this the Coast
of Anywhere --
some anyplace
plush, sumptuous,
the jungly rim
of Sumatra
perhaps, the shores
of Honduras,
a littoral
Africa teemed
to the sea's hem.

too, our little
twelve-seater, its
three passengers
neatly equal
to the flight crew.
Yes, we're a sort
of family
circle -- though one
whose hearth-fire is,
on such a day,
the globe itself --
with something of
a family's

seasoned silence
(years behind us,
years to come). Why
breathe a word? What
can life dispense
more delicious
than to gaze down
from Heaven toward
a world scarcely
recognized -- ours
the rare vantage
of creatures both
lost and divine?

Copyright © 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; March 1997; A Flight up the Coast; Volume 279, No. 3; page 68.

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