What has grazed against the sky and left
as seeping wounds these tangled vines?
Like drenched brushes dabbing at blank
parchment, Zero and Hellcat have turned
differential lift into veils of condensation.
But the hand behind these brushes is the foil
in our dogfight mind. We all fly cursively
in dreams, taking roofs for runways, clearing
with somatic leaps jagged lines of grasping
trees, warding off with myoclonic airborne
kicks the threatening clutch of others.
In the special effects of oneiric flight
we emulate not birds but martial
figurations of vertiginous selves.

(Photo from Wiki Commons: “Fighter plane contrails mark the sky over Task Force 58, 19 June 1944”)