Issue 2



Sarah Ciston


TRAVELNET / 37° 45′ 7.87″ N, 122° 25′ 12.50″ W


A bird flaps its wings in Bogotá. Except Bogotá isn’t Bogotá yet, hasn’t been discovered, its spot on the globe is blank. When you spin the globe and close your eyes and let your finger drop on your destination, that digit indexes blankness, only hinting at the Bogotá to come.

A bird flaps its wings in Bogotá, except the bird isn’t there, only its wings. This makes their flapping even more pronounced. This makes their rhythm a secret message no one hears. Their movement translates from wings to tongues, from Incan to Mayan, flying north for the spring. Summers in Canada, summers again in Argentina. Carrying your codes as they go. Making sonar maps from what the land echoes back.

Wings flap above your head in wherever it is you are, whatever it will be called one day, twenty thousand years from now, when you can’t prove you won’t still exist. Why believe in things like death and erosion and tectonic plates or anything else that has never happened to you?
Spin the globe believing it’s made of reference, more than just the paper against your hands. This is travel.
A street is just a screensaver burning out, a placeholder for all that has been exchanged—plains full of buffalo for sprawling strip malls, parking lots that lead to more parking lots. “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a complete sentence. Everything else seems incomplete.
Just whisper this sweet nothing into someone’s ear each day: San Francisco. Write it down on paper. Make sure to hold it up against your face, to see that it is yours, is you, that you are it. Write it down on anything that doesn’t move. Mark it permanent, so that it will stay where you cannot.