Trafficking

By | 1 July 2006
The bringing in of taro, breadfruit, mangoes and
and a tropical sun and a chunk of

Nuku'alofa or Apia or Tuvalu, the
bringing in of anaesthetised parrots, chameleons and

a lump of frozen southern air,
some packets of soft white stuff –

strange feelings of triumphantly trying to outsmart
the dogs, the electronic manipulations of bags,

cases, personal packs. It's a game. I ask,
what's in it for me when you hop in the taxi to

go home – if you get to hop in the taxi to go home. I'm
in the middle of a concourse of summer

traffic. Not a shot's been fired today to
send everyone screaming, not a traveller's

blown himself up in the name of brotherhood. A
girl passes carrying a pink orchid. She

sniffs the orchid. It turns red, then powdery. The point is,
do I stay glued to a multi-

eyed screen of images – the 6 o'clock news is old already –
Mao Tse-tung is dead. Apartheid has gone. An

American flag has been left on the moon. The second coming
has been missed and living on mountains has

become fashionable for those who can afford it. Space travel's
now all about location, location, location. I'm

beginning to wonder, if you're going to arrive, if
you're all you say you are.

Computers catch colds and pandemics are
becoming more genocidal. Fundamentalists are still

experimenting with the body parts of apostates and
donors don't declare themselves as they should. On this

melting highway the traffic's doing a crawl. The taxis
are writing in the tar. I've been to the airport and back,

been to the office, been home and back to the airport to look for you
and you've probably brought me nothing for all my efforts.

 

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