Flying Jack Daniel's to a séance with Theodore Roethke


Our imaginary cockpit

was lit by candlelight

as I strapped in beside you

grinning sweaty at the stick.


Your whiskey laugh, wild breath

said the  flight ahead

would be a dance of pleasure,

sky-crazed waltz with death.


We chased Wordsworth's nightingale

across a dark cloud bank

then buzzed Aphrodite

sunning naked on her back.


Spotting Xanadu below us,

we plunged into the wind

and climbed, chasing blithe spirits

skylarking in Coleridgean sin.


One last shot of Jack gulped down,

we whirled skyward just for fun

then crashed into ocean breakers

beneath the smoldering sun.

                              Timothy Pilgrim