What death may be: a slow, close-to-weightless
tilt, like a burgeoning foetus turning
slightly in the womb. The engine starts a low
growl like a stomach, the aircraft hungry to
land, to devour the space between its
falling body and the ground, followed by
the slow lick of its wheels against the runway's
belly: pressing down, then skating forward,
only to decelerate, a sensual slow-mo,
and the plane makes a sound
like the hugest sigh of relief.
The seatbelt sign blinks off for the final time.
We rise up from our seats like souls
from bodies, leaving bulky hand luggage
in the overhead compartments, then
begin a tense line down the aisle, awkwardly
smiling at each other, remaining few minutes
alive with all kinds of ambivalences,
or simply relief at having arrived, at long last,
in that no-time zone of a country
without a name except the ones we give it;
weeping, laughing, both at once.
First published in Cordite
Last modified: 3 September 2003