Amy McDaniel

Delta Flight 2024

The man giving the safety
demonstration does not expect
our attention. It is a fully
private performance. If there is
an audience, it is not us,
the passengers on the plane,
it is imagined. I believe
at least 60% of men would
fall in love with me. 70%
now that another man is
actively, publicly in love with me.
I am in love with no more
than 20% of people. I can
think of only 9. The man
next to me said, “Jesus!”
when the woman in front of him
reclined her seat. He looked
at me for confirmation and yes,
it was very sudden and very
disruptive. If a man had
reclined that thoughtlessly, it
would’ve been mannish. A woman
did, so it was womanish instead.
Emotion is the province of women,
which happily situates women
as emotion’s defenders. Men
are emotion’s enemies. They fight
emotion, they are overcome. They
are colonized by emotion.
For $18 extra, I flew first class.
I skipped half the security line. I
got chardonnay and a
small, very cute banana. That’s
all. But the whole sky looked
like one rainbow.

Amy McDaniel runs 421 Atlanta, a center of literary attention and chapbook press. Her stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Tin House, PANK, The Agriculture Reader, Saveur, H_NGM_N, and elsewhere. Her most recent chapbook is Collected Adult Lessons.

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