Posts Tagged ‘travel’




We are entering turbulence, says the captain.

This plane does not do well with turbulence.


His voice crackles over the loudspeaker

just after the plane has begun to jostle in the sky.


I am not particularly worried about the plane.

The young engineer next to me in 14E has already


assured me that when considering safety factors,

the designers will double what is actually needed.


I am more worried about the captain’s choice of words.

It matters what we say to each other and how.


The ride will be turbulent, that would have sufficed.

Or perhaps, The ride will be turbulent,


it’s nothing to be concerned about.

The toddler in row 11 is screaming.


She would not feel better, regardless what

the captain said. Perhaps it is the mother in me


that longs to disregard the safety belt sign and go comfort her—

not so much for the child’s sake, but for her mother’s,


she looks so careworn and tired. I want to tell her,

It’s okay. This is just a short chapter.


I settle for a nod and a smile.

The truth is the world is full of turbulence.


The truth is it’s hard to hear anyone cry.

The truth is our work in the world


begins with comforting the people next to us,

strangers only until we take the first step.



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blue flax beside the highway,

ten thousand bridal bouquets—


each moment of the journey

saying, “marry me”




said the mama heron,

no more crawling

when you were made to fly






surprised by the mama grizzly—

one hand on the car door,

the other focuses the camera




in a field of avalanche lilies

each one

the most exquisite




clapping for Old Faithful—

thrilling at predictable





sleeping in a puppy pile

between my grown children—

oddly glad for cold nights




morning alarm—

raindrops on the tent

each one pressing snooze




june snowstorm—

the morning takes its bikini for a drive

and slips into a hot springs




searching every meadow for moose—

missing it like that kiss

from the boy I never kissed




a whole week

with no blue—

relying on the places

I’ve tattooed sky

on my inner walls




seventh day in Yellowstone—

just another glorious herd of bison

and their perfect golden calves




the sing-along of a thousand miles—

even Julie Andrews asks

are we there yet?




said the desert,

you can’t smell the sage

going sixty

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One Dare




gas tank shows empty

and me in the mood

to play chicken

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For three and a half hours,

the man in 25 D and I

sit beside each other

and do not speak.

Somewhere, I like to imagine,

is a woman who wishes

that it were she

who got to be the woman

sitting in 25 E. I wonder

what she is doing right now,

perhaps twirling a strand

of her hair and remembering

the way his voice warms

when he says her name.

It occurs to me

that in every seat is a human

who loves and who wants

to be loved. A plane

of lovers, we are,

all of us politely minding

our elbows, traveling

with our seatbelts low

and tight across our laps.

And though we’ve never

met before and will likely

never meet again, and though

we may not even speak

to each other as we fly, just

think of it, all that love

traveling across the country

through a turbulent sky.


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Two for the Road

driving through the stoplight—
too dark to notice if your eyes are green


after all that bad news
I teach the radio a love song

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Six Aimlesses

walking in the room
the dog sniffs the air
where the poem was


plastic bubble pipe—
what does this have to do
with infinity?


green exit sign—
wishing I could hang it
above my fear


empty dish—
the cat never worries
about her figure


no atmosphere, no
water, no life, Mars at least
you’re still a planet


in large white letters
the highway sign says MARVEL—
I pass going sixty

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Five from Highway 285

hole in the fence—
while driving sixty
my mind slips through


frozen stream
still the sound
of water


trading in my name
for two
round stones

snow bluster and squall—
in the rearview mirror
all blue


nothing nothing nothing
in the field, and so much
filling it in

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One day, el escorpion.
Another day, la tarantula.
I learn quickly
to watch
where I step.


Settling into
this routine: just another
perfect sunset.


Red and voluptuous
this flower
in the wetlands.
We ask the guide
its name.

Labia de puta,
he says,
then translates
with his blush.


The bird
I cannot see
gives me its song.
I give it
my silence.


That white-faced monkey,
that cucaracha, that sparrow, that stone—
always meeting myself.


Never again to return
to the waterfall
cold rush of clear
I die a small death.

The trail away from
is worn the same
as the trail toward.

Not emptiness but
spaciousness grows
around the loss.
They are the same,
only not the same.

In the growing space,
a parade of ants
marches past, the cut leaves
on their backs
still bright green.


The waves roll my body
into the sand and
away again.
Above me,
the vultures slow
their circling,
their heads
so pink against the blue.
They know
the time will come
soon enough.


a leaf falls—
all the arguments
I never had


Oh child of Colorado
crying for the mountains,
do you not feel
how the dark sand
makes space for
your every step?


Mama, she says,
it hurts when I touch here.
There is a bruise
on her leg
where she ran into her bed.

I consider telling her
the obvious—
Then don’t touch it, darling.

With my heart,
I touch those old thoughts.
I tell her, I know, querida,
just what you mean.


in the estuary
the only alligator
the one in my mind


I want ask him
what is it like
to live in one place
all your life.
What is it like
to know one
kind of food,
to hear one kind
of music
to make one kind of life.
I want to know
how to say
pleasure in his language,
and is it a word
he often would use.
He tells me
about what we see
out the window.
Trigo. Sorghum.
Platanos. Melon.

I nod and smile,
so little of what he says.
I want to ask
if the women
here are happy,
if people listen,
if he wonders
about who he is.
Instead, I say,
Que bonita,
esta isla donde vive

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