Alexandra Haines-Stiles, “The Weight of Information”

orange line

The Weight of Information

In clouds a wing is a solid thing,
metal among metaphor,
quiddity, not silvered threat.
Its bulk bears us up.

The man in the next seat lulls
with heat and flesh
though we’re immaterial, unbound
from earth, ungrounded.

He says:
I once read about
a plane that lost its wing
in a thundercloud.

Falling through air,
I’ve found my medium,
dosed with gravity,
tossed, mobile, untouched.
But the shape below, my shadow,

promises contact. The land
looms, rights itself.
I sleep on his shoulder,
apologize when I wake.

We wheel over the sea—
I tanned on those beaches,
I held your hand there, once—
this boxful of strangers

riding on air.


Alexandra Haines-Stiles is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford, where she studied twentieth-century literature and language as well as creative writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, Matter, Copper Nickel, The Mays Anthology, and elsewhere. She lives in New York and London.


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