Skidding thru the stratosphere in an SR-71
Derrick considered certain agents he had known.

Blue Urals. Confusion of Eurasia
at dawn. Far ahead in the rounded dark
a former colleague & spy still active
dined daintily in Madrid. . . . And others
still in the field.

                                   Banking left.
Azerbaijan, the pinpoint derricks of Baku.
Snapshots from the tail fill in for errant satellites.

Turkey & the Middle East
in a dim, non-rem sleep.

Dining to tremolos. Recuerdos de la Alhambra ...
Did Derrick prefer canned oxygen?
arriving the night before he left?
a panel of luminous graphs?

SAM sites in Libya. Discharge! Check. Evasive! Check.
One wonders what intrigue in Tripoli tonight.

Before midnight local time Derrick saw the lights
of the strip fifty kilometers south of Fez.
Black on black: adhere to the axis.

Suction of unlock; desert air.

On the tarmac a familiar
man from counter-intelligence, tall & lean, with clipboard
gives Derrick a barely perceptible nod.
Certain sanctions in geopolitical affairs
set precise vectors
allowing no hesitation.
Derrick climbs down,
steps out of jumpsuit
& receives the clipboard without a word.
Taking from breastpocket a silver pen
he signs the death warrant of a spy in Spain.

Derrick's Trip - Sanction