Waiting at Côte d’Azur Airport

Our plane, parked up in front of us,
sits on roasting tarmac, while the sprawling
coastline spreads foam onto compacted
piles of rock with an invisible breadknife.
We’ve tasted plenty of Riviera life
over five days and four nights – found
the remains of Matisse and Chagall, felt
a storm enraged directly above our heads,
sketched strangers inside cliffs
en route to chicanes of decadence
and apartments stacked to the clouds
like mounds of cash. Parris lit up the
south of France but White proved the
winner on thick-air buses trudging back
to Nice city centre, crammed full of sad
Tartan fans. And now, with a Dutch-orange
sticker replacing a man bound for Barcelona,
I wait in line to depart the sand. An encyclopedia
of women’s history in my hand, their journey –
and mine – will continue back in the homeland.

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