sukhmani-bio-photo-21jan2015Sukhmani Khorana is Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Wollongong. Her ivory tower is akin to a mother of pearl art studio, where she practices multicultural ethnography across writing and photography. Sukhmani’s creative work and commentary has appeared in OverlandCrikey, Kill Your Darlings, Peril, and The Conversation.

Under my feet

For those of us with wheels under our feet
The only moments that ground us are
When the earth under our soles is moving too

Like on a train
Thirroul, Helensburgh, Sutherland, Hurstville
Each repetition is like a recitation
Invoking the cult of new rhymes, every time

And on a plane
When one is amongst the ephemera of clouds
Yet tethered to seats and screens
Because one really doesn’t know clouds at all
Except through the names we imagine for them

You see routes and maps, and dots and lines
All these trajectories just under your feet
Beckoning you to places you might belong

But you keep moving
Sometimes with a ragged guidebook tucked under your arm
And I join the ride
When you ask me to take your picture in front of the van

You see me again
In the city we both inhabit on our habitual return
Where I bike to the train station
While you walk with a swagger as you get off the bus
And we both queue for coffee

Our commutes and routines and jobs stay stubbornly constant
As we move through, and roll around them
Hoping the wheels under our feet will bind us to everywhere