• Marieska Luzada

rollercoaster in the sky

By Marieska Luzada // Dec. 27, 2019

the feeling of the seatbelt against my waist

makes me more constricted by the minute.

i try to focus on the upbeat melodies and quirky lyrics

that trumpet through my headphones

than the chaos that ensues outside of my mind.

seatmates making light conversation,

toddlers ooh-ing as they look at the cotton ball clouds

outside their smudged windows,

couples nuzzling into each other’s necks

as they remain still in their peaceful slumbers.

i sit isolated.

my legs at a perfect ninety degree angle

as my two feet lay planted on the carpeted floor.

i stare at the tray table in front of me with a blank expression,

my eyeballs bouncing back and forth

from the safety information pamphlets and air sickness bags

to the magazines that are plastered with tropical destinations

and picturesque islands i have seen on wheel of fortune.


people start to sit up and prepare for descent.

flight attendants ordering passengers to stow their tray tables

and to push their seats upright.

there is an enormous and sudden drop that makes me lose the feeling

of my body’s weight against my seat.

i gasp as i grasp the armrest.

i struggle to control my breathing

as children around me start squealing,

like they were on a rollercoaster.


this was what this was.

a ride whose energy paths are on and off.

an experience unlike any other.

the feeling of going to an unfamiliar place,

or going back to where it all began.

whatever the destination,

this was an adventure worth the ups and downs.

as i turn my head,

i am greeted with patches of green, yellow, red,

instead of the eternal blue and white landscape

that stayed on the windows for an hour.

i haven’t seen this sight in the four months

i have lived in a sleepless city.

forest evergreens, brick condos and apartments,

rolling hills and never-ending fields

cars of varying sizes and shapes moving across the highway.

feeling comes back to me

as i remain in my seat with a clear mind,

elated to return to familiarity.

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