Departure
by Jessica Pierce



We wait on the tarmac for a few minutes,
dutifully seated and buckled, while a montage
of beautifully presented Thai food scrolls
across the screens overhead.
The in-flight magazine advertises
a perfume of bergamot and green fruits
that lead the exciting sense
of mood, the summer sense…sun-fresh,
Your man with his own woody, aromatic musk,
will find you so mystery…so charming
…so diva! I wear monsoon damp and diesel grime.
Yet they let me on the plane anyway,
and in 24 hours, having followed the earth's
rotation to complete the circumnavigation
I began months ago, I will be
someplace I know, on the other side of a salted
and swaying ocean, 12,000 miles away
from the clear milk of green coconuts,
the vegetable wallah’s proclamation
of “great affection” for me, trees holding
watchful crows, morning conch shell trumpets,
blackened nostrils, fierce
lightning, wary street dogs,
fingers sheened with turmeric
and mustard oil, smooth-fleshed mangoes,
skittering lizards, cockroaches
with bodies that hum
against the floor at night, over-heated
dreaming and waking day after day.
And now the engines
churn and now air lifts metal and now
I’m above a city—so mystery—
I could never make home. And now I’m
leaving. And now I’m gone.





Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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