APRIL 2009


terminal five
By Audri Sousa, Feb 15, 2009

in an airport everyone behaves cinematic. in an airport it is customary it is obliged to make and hold contact with the irises. in an airport you are obsessive compulsive in two ways. in an airport everything is about keeping up appearances. turnstiles are fake, embraces are fake, words are fake. she is a walking business suit dialing random address book contacts to mask her loneliness. he is the sad somali cabbie who speaks of other migratory flocks, breathes streams of ink, wax, fruit, cracks a latent smile if you are american and you tell him shukran. mouths and teeth are fake. nicotine is real. in an airport you cast nets of portraiture beneath departure gate. in an airport the strongest image is mute converging fingers. then mute separating fingers. the fingers shine because they are sad. you swallow mute fingers you ride inside steel tubes over poppy-quilted miles. you learn how best not to die in an explosion with the cunning use of plastic. hallelujah for plastic and nicotine. someoneís kid is screaming. you glare at first class. you take root in air, inverted like a baobab of being. several rows forward the yuppies vomit into phones the whole twelve hours to convince themselves. beside you the drunken tourist talks through the ghost at something else. when he falls quiet you donít sleep but imagine different ways of cataclysmic death. again and again, you see the plane incinerating, breaking into millions of pieces that fall like damp confetti on pavement. you consider flushing last words for future generations down the toilet, one at a time. a different word over each new state, province or country. and many different people would find them. and some of the people would save the words. and some of the people would be confused and throw the words away. and some of the people would find each other and assemble the words like a puzzle. and it would appear on CNN. but you canít get to the toilet because he is blocking the aisle, drowning in his own saliva on the outstretched food tray. instead you shut your eyes tight for the duration of the romantic comedy. for years after you wash your hands and lock doors.

Audri Sousa likes tea and matrioshkas. She lives in California and canít sleep with socks on. Her work has previously appeared in Transfer Magazine and is forthcoming in Word Riot, Abjective and Breadcrumb Scabs.