“G’day, ma’am,” says the man at the visa desk at LAX. He hands back my passport and giggles to himself. I had assumed him to be humourless – but then this. He’s used ‘g’day’ like it’s ‘aloha’ – like I could be coming or going. I’m unsure which I am, now sporting the very first stamp in my still-new passport.

In the LA twilight sky, a flock of geese soar overhead. Long necks and feet point out at either end, and remarkably straight, stable wings shoot out to the sides – a floating cross. The geese turn in silence, confident of their direction. Synchronicity in the city. Changing direction, they become X-s. Kisses in the sky.

Kisses for your coming, they say; kisses for your going.




This trip was kindly supported by the UNESCO Melbourne City of Literature travel fund.