Sunday, June 22, 2008

Joanna Preston: HALF A WORLD

Jet lag. Sleep deprivation. Stress. Depression. Mix in a jumbo for 26 hours. Queue for checking in. Queue to collect the bags. Queue for the shuttle bus. Jangled, jumbled. Terminal three, terminal eight. Gate six, board at two pm. Gate fifty one, board at a quarter to nine. Crowds of people with identical suitcases. Forms to sign. Have you ever—No. Are you carrying—No. Date of birth. Today’s date. Passport number. Flight number. Please ensure that your seat—Engines thruming. The tail slewing a little. Flying over Nevada. Flying over Greenland. Local time is—Reset your watch. Try to sleep. Try to eat something. Try to read. Sunset for the second time in eight hours. Turbulence. The man beside you catches his breath.

first night in England —
from hotel bedsheets
the scent of a stranger

by Joanna Preston
Christchurch, New Zealand
first published in Frogpond