Nora Byrne
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Words

Arts, Arabic, Adventures

Transatlanticism

Crossing the Atlantic; not as romantic as it sounds. Carve space around your cast-off shoes and overstuffed bag, wedge your feet under the seat back in front of you. There’s nothing so dull as the sky from above.

Yes, there’s blue and yes, the clouds glow lavender, the space between them gradates yellow to green to the soft blue of gendered swaddles. Admiration lasts just a minute, then you’re examining frost patterns on the windows, crooked bursts of white against a pinky glow. 

Crossing the Atlantic, wine is free and your head begins to spin even though you should be working but let’s write and drink let’s turn the letters red to match our teeth. Truth comes in transit; admit you’re away. Admit you can't stay.

Watch them fade into miniature watch them in zeroes and ones see old faces in new places watch the world turn as you fly to the other side. Trace smiles with your eyes look for clues between the lines. Keep watching keep tabs stay vigilant stay static stay gazing at a glowing screen.

Crossing the Atlantic, you’re not sure if you should study Arabic, but you’ve started to recognize الشي و اسمي. Harmless flipping of flashcards seems worth the promise of tea, names, muttered possessives, كتابي، كتابيك، كتابهم.

Crossing the Atlantic you miss class, miss meetings, miss fountains but can’t stop breathing. The air in Istanbul is cold and crisp with sprinkling spray. Stall and breathe take your jacket off feel air on your arms. Attendants wrap in raincoats, but you’re finally bare.

Breathe in, out, replace dust with water. Trade one sky for another, keep moving keep breathing on a spartan chair with a cheap cappuccino. Call them chips, be keen, nothing’s obnoxious, you’re ma’am, lady, نورة.

Back scars fade like they always do, reminders to nostalgia to regrets to pale skin. Swipe them away with pale palms, weak promises, swipe them away to stay in the heat. Stay in mongrel accents, broken plurals, hybrid slang. 

Stay with shit art in the desert, stay laughing, stay wandering. Stay stretched across oceans finding footing with your fingertips.