Notes upon departure

Oily silty water leaks onto uneven sidewalks, a crowd of wet sandals waiting to depart to relative paradise. Wealthy Indonesians, foreign tourists from Japan, Germany, Australia, America, all fleeing the stench of smog and littered rivers.

Dense bands of trash––plastic bags, wax coated cartons, plastic silverware, cans, bottles, cups––floating on the face of the water like the strings of the universe, expanding and contracting with the current.

Toilet only slightly better than a hole in the boat; there is no seat–squatting only–a single handrail for stability crossing the chop.

Vessel’s green interior mimicking submersion under cloudy skies, air flow amounts to breathing through a straw at depth.

Container ships casting heavy wakes born of deep drafts, the ripples of international commerce; LNG vessels, lined with spherical tanks full of frigid low-pressure liquid; dingies and traditional bagan, floating precariously like the local economy, propped up on makeshift platforms of bamboo stilts.

The city retreats into smog, blue sky emerging with distance from the myriad high-rises and office buildings––monuments to the truest of human creation: absolute destruction.


About andrewwhiting

A sentimental and sarcastic poet, lover of language, traveling and nature (not a fan of the Oxford comma).
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