Langkawi airport (Amy Hilhorst)

Verity La Heightened Talk

FullSizeRenderOn the wall at gate 4
a Malaysian flag hangs sideways,
lower rod displaced and
scrunched at the bottom,
where the stripes stretch furthest
from the star.
Couples compare
passport stamps, tanned hands
leaf boarding passes. A child,
five or six, sits in a pram,
atop his uncomplaining
younger brother. The air is
cool, clinical; unlike outside.
A Mastercard billboard says
discovering the world
is priceless.
A hundred or so
face gridded windows,
oriented to our plane
as if at the cinema.
The P.A. declares delay
yet no one reacts,
mostly buried in books and phones.
Work is done on the metal mass
about to carry us through
thousands of k’s of
sparse sky traffic —
the absurdity lost
on us all.

Amy Hilhorst is a Perth poet and PhD candidate at The University of Western Australia. Her research investigates poetic conceptions of psychosis in the work of Francis Webb, Bruce Beaver, and Michael Dransfield. Amy’s creative and critical work is published or forthcoming in Writ Review, Trove, Cordite, Westerly New Creative, and Rochford Street Review. @AmyHilhorst