How I Loved the Broken Things of Rome

When we travel by plane to a distant place, we travel through time as well as through space.

We sleep, or do not, over the Atlantic. We fly through the restless twisted night, hip to thigh with strangers. We breakfast over the Alps. Diamond lakes glint like lost earrings in long foothills of glacier combed hair.

We land - disgruntled, dishevelled and delayed. We have only just ceased leaving. Arrival takes much longer still.

Our baggage thunks onto the carousel. It inches toward us. It catches up with us.

Outside, there are armed guards and palm trees and no one told us how hot it would be.

We are new, we are strange, we are temporary. We should have known. We have not traveled to a foreign place. We are foreign.

Nothing is as we think it will be.

J. R. Carpenter 2005