From Belgrade

Giles Goodland


My movie is a page. Then someone opens a blind and we briefly return to where we are: 60,000 meters over Europe. The condensation-trails of other planes are vertebrae, rapidly decaying. Shadows of clouds, hidden instruments, inside one of which is me. I recognise Lake Balaton—the village with its fishing-pier, the goulash-stalls, the fat couples up to their knees a mile from shore. The snacks they give out are small pretzels in the shape of aircraft. Some of them come out of the packet already broken. The long glide begins, into something no longer quite the future, like those indistinguishable leafless rectangles we’d seen on the flight out. But now there is rape’s indisputable yellow, the straw-greys of the spent, the reaped. Smoke rises from fields of sunflower.  The flowers look down, the trees roar with light. The airport tumbles towards us.

Giles Goodland

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