Poems by Carol Leff
visa for america
during my mother’s visa interview
they asked why she wished to visit my sister.
her flow of tears hid unspoken fears as she
explained they had not seen each other
for six long years.
my interview a year earlier
had gone more smoothly.
they only made me walk barefoot and drink
my bottled water in front of them.
every last drop.
jet lag synesthesia
arab emirates aeroplane
fills with the spicy warm scent
of ginger and blood orange
at dubai airport i wander awe-struck
a voyeur on a shopping spree
penniless but with strong intention
back in the air, across vast oceans and frozen lands
i fall asleep with headphones
curl up with tom waits
outside JFK airport, on the way to the car
windswept and brittle
i smell the cold air
if aromas have a colour
that day it was blue
and the sky had a veil from a sci-fi movie
or a lens filter that changed the view
these memories not captured in photographs
but in steaming green pea soup
at grand central station