The latest in a biweekly poetry series curated by Hanif Abdurraqib

On the red-eye flight
the girl wakes up before
she was supposed to, wants
to see what the outside looks

like from way up here
in the heavens. What are
the lights daddy? Buildings.
Cars. People, I say. Every light

is a person? she cuts in. More
like each light is about 10
people I say. This morning
I am clever and too confident

in my answers. All the dark
spaces, are those people dead?
No. The lie leaps from me.
Probably. She may be right.

Surely there are more people
dead than alive by now. We stare
at the black together on the descent
as I hope, none of the lights go out

while we watch.