terminal (planes pt2)
November 12, 2012 at 9:02pm
sea level and i'm shuffling with a wave of despondent passengers through a segmented collapsible hallway
lost connections spark to life in tones and beeps and whirrs as phones and their owners leave airplane mode.
we pass arrays of displays showing arrivals, showing final destinations, even though this is never the last place you go.
there's nothing final and concrete here but the floors, and even some of those move.
i sense tension building as leather and plastic bags and cases swing like pendulums from arms balancing wives and employees
on long distance lines, as the speed of feet clad in anything you can guess hurry past forty foot banners advertising far off places,
for those who've arrived at the airport undecided about where to go.
the rest of the walls are empty and grey, shining with an almost clinical sterility
i pass overpriced food and layover bars, i pass souvenir shops with shot glasses and duty free cigarettes.
i pass periodicals and shoeless bomb inspections but i haven't passed a single smile.
i can watch my luggage ride a giant snaking playground slide and wonder if anyone i know is on the departure board.
i read it like obituaries as my bag passes a second time, and i know that even if i could take the flight back,
i'd never be where i was.
drifting again, or so i should think, and i'm greeted with a song i know only from sleep, only in dreams.
it sings of roads and longing, and she's standing right here.
she says she watched me watch my bag go by four times, before the alarm
before the wall was able to swallow it wholeagain, she brought it.
she says she likes the way roads look like burning oil in hot days on the horizon,
she says she's photographed them before, but they never take,
life's like that, she says, fleeting. all that time behind lenses for a memory that will
never be anyone's but your own.
and before an answer can climb my throat and jump teeth, i'm watching a blue cardigan
i'm watching a cascade of auburn, a red backpack, i'm watching them depart.
reading them like obituaries.