Phoenicians from Arizona and Lebanon gather  

at the portals slated with their corresponding letter 

Some toting shoulder bags big enough to lopside  

tired torsos leaning against the thick air  

of anticipation 

reverberating with the murmured  

gossip of the queuing passengers in attempt  

to dissipate their uneasiness 

Protein acquisition is on the mind of previously  

infamous foodies who have abandoned their  

social media feeds in search of survival  

frantically attempting to embed the grip  

and yield of naturally occurring meats  

and legumes on their teeth before  

their feet lift off into zero-gravity  

Deep space a familiar concept  

in the logical mind but resurfaces  

fears instilled by moving images 

from previous decades  

Technically everyone has been trained  

about expectations from this  

their last flight from the touchstone  

of home for the new one whose air  

has never brushed its strange touch  

against their goosebumped skin  

or the hairs in their nostrils  

to associate living breath  

with the chemical makeup  

of an unfamiliar atmosphere 

Water will be rationed  

just in case  

whose parameters no one explained  

to anyone’s satisfaction  

“Have faith” is ingrained 

through repeated assurances  

now called upon 

by fingers rubbing nervously  

religious pendants hanging  

from stiff necks cranked to peek  

into an uncertain future 

By Imogen Arate

Imogen Arate is an award-winning Asian-American poet and writer and the Executive Producer and Host of Poets and Muses, an award-winning weekly poetry podcast. She has written in four languages and published in two. Her work most recently appeared in The New Verse News.

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