Melissa Petrakis

Lit-Mag #37 
Myself & Others

Two Poems

Approaching Denpasar

At 39 thousand feet
Sea ted, belted down
and moving
at 879 kilometres per hour.

a little sick, a little giddy
at reaching such heights
and a current personal paralysis.

The beverages on board
do not quite numb you,
nor the inflight

symbiotic to this numb time
when a lover
before such solid ground leaves.

it is –53 degrees
and yet a constant cabin pressure
is to be maintained.

survival measures become clearer:
how to inflate a life jacket, open
and close a harness.

In inactive state extended
the sun glinting off the clouds
high over the Timor Sea
is pain bright.

Between sips of orange juice
periodically ingested
you realise you no longer
pilot your own movement.

special prices

They are quick
these boy nymphs
nymphs of quick
and pulsing fire
and of Grecian rock.

Show me oil paintings
of the islands
and for my mother rings, ask
‘Is she as beautiful as you?’
promising special prices.

And Kadir
here 2 years from Turkey
a student of Greek language
at the university
buys me a Fanta.

Before I can form
in my stronger English
he offers
to show me the Parthenon.

Still contemplating the invitation
I buy film from an older vendor who
gives me change in coins
strokes my hand, says
‘Come back soon’.

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