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Terminal E-O15

A single red sclera scans linoleum.

Illustration by Angela Huo

It encloses the 

white irises that I bathe the milling men and

women and children in. They are scattered 

on the smooth floor.

I stare down 

rows neater than hangars

columns of dates and times, and flights

an endless array of white arriveds 

and red lates. 

I spit out the brisk walking 

businesswoman, the curly haired teenager,

the bearded man with a black mandala 

on his shirt. Their shells roll with them,

worn as their faces. Tiny heads crane

to look through my eastern gate—searching

for mothers weary, fathers hurried, siblings

with sound proof headphones and textbooks 

weighing their carry ons. A crumb-fingered child 

hops to his mom, and a sister hands her a damp bouquet. 

A woman cannot stop her wide, toothy smile 

directed at my open mouth.

I chew all who are missed, so their faces weary are

lit up red seeing the ones caring. I chose the boundary

between away and returned. I decide when their waiting 

comes to a halt. I watch over them in red, bold. 

Unnoticed. In the end, no one disobeys my 

command. In the end, none of the travelers

ever turn back.

— Diya Naik

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