KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Prose Poem: 161 words

At the Pacific Air Museum

by Lisa Shulman

He points at the plane’s guts, showing us rudders and rotors and the intake manifold, and as he tells us how he formed the new aluminum panels by hand, his eyes lose their rheumy glaze and widen bluer and clear, and the crepey skin on his wrists tautens, the liver spots fading to sun-pressed freckles. The more he talks about replacing old rusted rivets with new ones, and assembling the parts piece by battered piece, the slimmer grows his waist and the firmer his jaw; even his hair seems to thicken and grow glossy beneath his jaunty baseball cap. It is easy to see the boy in the man talking of metal and machines; to hear the flutey thrill in the throat and see the muscles straining to remove and rebuild. It is easy to forget the shriek and screaming speed, the concussed destruction, the child’s wail—the reason for these broken toys of war.

Lisa Shulman
Issue 12, Summer 2019

is the author of four picture books for children. She has also published fiction, poetry, and non-fiction for adults. Her recent work has appeared in California Quarterly and Digging Our Poetic Roots, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Lisa writes and teaches in Northern California.

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