The Manchester Review
Chris Andrews
Two Poems
print view

Tourism I

Cumulus clouds are surprisingly sharp-edged
even seen close up from a plane as its wing
goes plunging into one. And it's sobering
how even a big city seen from the air
at night is an atoll in a black ocean.
Or maybe that's just atavistic worry
about arriving somewhere unfamiliar
after dark. Say it's Melbourne. You're curious
to see how the wretched in-flight video
will map onto ground-level reality
when you walk the vaunted malls and recognize
ingeniously designed public spaces
used by citizens to shoot up and die in.

It's hard to adjust to the length of the days
and the washing machine cycles, but your guide
from Ordinary Life Tours will understand.
When you've seen smog-defying monster elms,
or sumo wrestling in fat suits at the pub,
and the Southern Kite, you can lie down and fail
to get your head around how it all might be
a multiverse made from dancing bits of string.