Artwork by Semilore DelanoSemilore Delano

in the rigid vessel, i watch planes and people disappear 
in a flash of empty blue. the year
is a palimpsest of experience; 
memories braiding 
            into the margins of the person i had been
the last time, when my fingers traced 
the ink of this golden ticket. amidst the damp 
rattle of wheels carrying me 
toward a place that is both
home and not-home, i am one of many pilgrim 
birds, steel-boned and spread-eagled,
waiting for winter. the hushed narrow maze 
of corridors 
becomes drenched in nervous light. on cue,
we fasten ourselves to the mechanical feathers. 

moments sketch themselves over older moments: 
            the silent 
tiptoe of English rain across 
skin that remembers the batter 
of tropical storms. 
            the rising lilt of 
my voice as my tongue acclimatised
faster than the rest of me, and i imagined 
my words, too, carried on colossal wings, beating
their way along the solitary ocean. 
later, an explosion of sunburnt
leaves draped themselves over the broad, barren 
scribblings of the penitential months,
and i found laughter in odd corners;
            in a crack of light coloured 
against the back of my palm, in the murmur of a 
thousand mayflies. 


Mountain View

Flash fiction: Taking Liberties

as i lurch away from the tarmac 
the rush of sound - the slice of metal against 
sky - the unnatural levitation
that is somehow
            motionless - lets my malleable 
self believe, for an air-borne vacant second, 
that home and not-home 
has acquired a stillness, that i 
have learnt to read the nearly 
discernible markings, that experience
simply awaits definition. 

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