Gregory JM Kasunich
I’ve never been to Papua, New Guinea
Don’t know if I’ll ever go
Figure, I’ll sleep on it as ambivalence metastasizes into despair
despair resolves into action
Not quite knowing where it is,
pour over digital maps
prevaricate and price compare
sort reviews by star rating
select a hostel hovering at 3.2
I pack poorly, in artificial haste, for a conjured adventure
an attempt at Lachesism – hoping for the worst
The priceless porcelain of my edgeless days
pushed to the precipice,
praying a ponderous gawker sends it floorward
Over ocean now – soft shades of blue perdition
Sibylline in my seat, predicting disaster.
Maybe it’s just the recycled air, the cabin pressure,
the inability to know what I’m doing here.
We descend into heat and humidity,
fat drops of moisture impossibly suspended.
I’m greeted by a kiss– a never felt sip from a native mosquito,
(taking his fee from the tourists and travelers.)
The itch and bump materialize in the aging cab,
all fumes and friendly questions.
In the Genesis I take in a hard pull of the musty hotel air.
I don’t unpack, and fall into an uneasy slumber.
My malarial mind swims in untaken Atabrine dreams. A million minor tragedies play out and I awake—
Alone, in my studio apartment,
the keys of my computer keyboard have waffled my cheek.
I see the digital maps, the tabs of hotel reviews.
I begin my bleary shuffle to my bed.
My pre-occupied mind fails to see the
lurking on the floorboards.
The short slap and crackle of my skull on the tables edge, unheard by my neighbors. The warm bath of leaking blood.
I close my eyes and attempt to return to Papua New Guinea.
This was not the trip I had planned.