Forty Thousand

At forty thousand
The  blood thins or thickens
While the heart constricts or
Like the shopping bag of a poor man
Swings empty
Something like that
One or the other.

At forty thousand
The Atlantic still stretches beyond sight of land
Water to water and all of it cold and far down there.
Some of us fear what lies beneath when we are on the surface
Others, the surface itself when we are far above it.

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