The Jungle

“I only have two hands,”
the beautiful flight attendant
says. She continues
up the aisle with her tray and
out of his life forever,
he thinks. Off to his left,
far below, some lights
from a village high
on a hill in the jungle.

So many impossible things
have happened,
he isn’t surprised when she
returns to sit in the
empty seat across from his.
“Are you getting off
in Rio, or going on to Buenos Aires?”

Once more she exposes
her beautiful hands.
The heavy silver rings that hold
her fingers, the gold bracelet
encircling her wrist.

They are somewhere in the air
over the steaming Mato Grosso.
It is very late.
He goes on considering her hands.
Looking at her clasped fingers.
It’s months afterwards, and
hard to talk about.

– Raymond Carver

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