Valerie Witte
from hold short bravo

what lies beneath families mixed in unfamiliar men

we don’t have any contradictions with the government right we don’t have any

contradictions with the media right


469,407 square nautical miles you

can drift in four days

depending on size buoyancy

wouldn’t be homeless you’re

another vessel joining

the bluefin’s ninth mission

then enter the deep, keep

looking for something to uncover

an oil slick

the bodies of 49 students in one room

but that is a different disaster

Valerie Witte
from hold short bravo

\\three weeks later\\

you’ve been feeling a little

psychic lately dreams seeming

reflective, a kind of reality

swallowed by a black

hole, struck

by a meteor, abducted by aliens, time travelers or

beings from another



they do not know why

they do not know how



do we get to stop worrying

when dread is

superseded by several acoustic

pings ping ping ping

the frequency too far

apart what is a door

where inputs & outputs

converge a means of clearing

dozens of parameters collected

when preserving the cockpit sounds of pilots

what must be orange

a testimony of internal workings uncharted



immarset immraset imarset

inmarset ikmarset ijmarset imnarset

imkarset imjarset

immsrset immzrset

immqrset immaeset immatset

immagset immafset

immareet immaraet immardet

immarwet immarxet immarser immarseg



recording by beacons attached

to contact water

or the sound of cars running over

leaves can quiet too

Valerie Witte
from hold short bravo

\\five weeks later\\

in a cargo hold

you are always searching

for places to sleep

a duvet or a rug it all looks the same

laid down flat or rolled

in a tube a transcript of emissions

permission you can’t hear because earplugs if

southbound emergency


silent in a matter of days


good morning

six thousand feet squawk two one zero six

we are ready requesting flight level

charlie one requesting push and start

mike romeo oscar

hold short bravo

you are unreadable

hold short bravo

cleared for takeoff

good night

climb flight level one eight zero

night one three two six three seven zero

Valerie Witte
from hold short bravo

to start at the center

fanning out no one would know you

wouldn’t have to miss atmospheric

pollution the sun unobscured


where UVR is stronger

what does it mean (don’t you know)

the final arc is very clean


& here in a meadow

you’ve seen them many

times emerge at dusk

what in daylight dissolves in hunting

season yet do not be afraid but focus

on what is granted on waking every day


sonar on a sled on a tether

limited to three

knots the autonomous underwater

vehicle, aka unmanned

submarine slightly faster

we do not have a debris field

Valerie Witte
from hold short bravo

\\seven weeks after\\

we all go missing it’s

the mystery that kills us that

counts the number of others

lost until every now

& then surfaces in the news, you mean you miss

pushing things suggest

meditation & he laughs why is it funny

he says it isn’t

don’t speak to break off no matter how you shut

up you are always interrupting


they sent all the living



if contours delineated

how other people rely on other

people edges reshaped by landslides knowing

they will never leave but everyone

eventually gives way

Valerie Witte
Italicized lines have been lifted or adapted from the following sources:

Some of the language in this text was adapted from the blog of Jeff Wise (