The sign in the airplane lavatory,
“As a Courtesy to the Next Passenger
You May Wipe the Sink off
with Your Paper Towel” 

makes me want to write
a poem. I’ll call it “Might be a Sign.” 
I think about pulling out my lipstick,
starting the first draft on the mirror,

Thinking of washing gods,
but don’t, open the flimsy, folding door,
move through the chambered plane, 
to my slotted seat, the time for washing past, 

let the sound of water settle into clouds
and touch the ring of gold and diamonds
my mother used to wear on a hand that knew
the archeology of kneading,

the click clack of needles,
knitting a sock or sweater from skeins, 
the hiss of steam as she pressed hard
to unwrinkle the cotton of cuffs and sheets.

The diamonds glint in a sun
framed by the small window—
and outside—an engine’s violet flame, 
and below, parceled land.