Mural of an Alligator in Aviation

by Ernest Tjia
Mural by Ráed Al-Rawi

At the Charlotte Douglas Airport there is a mural
featuring an alligator flying, wearing a yellow

dress shirt that has been tailored-fit to
act like a cape, and he has a red tie

that is parallel to his body in the wind, that looks
like it was clipped on instead of worn.

Of course, the trick is that it was indeed, painted
on, and I wonder what that says

about the Bank of America whose headquarters are
located on 100 North Tryon street.

I remember the bailout to the tune of twenty billion dollars
issued by the Troubled Asset Relief Program

in which some moneylenders and corporate suits
made a bad decision. Maybe two.

Or more. I’ve lost count. What I do know:
The first forms of modern insurance

predate the founding of the Republic
that issued the three-fifths compromise.

In capitalist ruins there is the figure of a woman
in a pantsuit, who has just bought ownership

of her first home, and plans to decorate it
with art, and flowers you can only get

from a specialty florist up in the Appalachians
who sells them by the double-dozen.

There are pennyworts and bloodroots and rue
anemones, accompanied by the sweet

southern twang, that awful lonesome
song of a Mountaineer. 

 


Ernest Tjia is a graduate student at the Pennsylvania State University’s department of English. His current poetic project is tentatively titled United States of Affairs.