Posts Tagged ‘travel’



It was Concourse B that altered me

as I ran past old women in sarongs

and young wailing children and men

in red ties and couples holding hands.

At first, all humanity felt like a hindrance,

living hurdles between me

and gate B-14 where the plane

for Seattle was already boarding.

But then, and who can say why,

as I stitched past B-70, B-68, B-66,

I began to notice how beautiful they were,

the ones with dark briefcases and the ones

with strollers, tall ones and fat ones and

slight ones and crooked ones,

all of us constellating in the same place

at the same time, star dust

with dreams and goals and heartaches

and hopes. And as I wove through

the fabric of us,

I felt their blessing as they parted

to let me through,

and I blessed them, too,

with a thousand silent thank yous,

astonished at how different we are,

how very much the same.

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path through the jungle—

so much has to change

to stay the same




zipline so fast

even my shadow can’t find

a place to land




hanging bridges

above the deep chasms—

panic disguised as hope




a fourth star

in Orion’s belt—

in fact, a firefly




love starved—

instead of catching the bigger fish

eating the bait




dismantling the gate

at the chambers of the heart—

using the wood for a bridge




pouring out from the tree’s thorns

and army of fire ants—

nearby the ylang ylang spreads perfume





diving into the waves—

if only all chaos

had a trapdoor




beneath the waterfall

riding the rope swing, wondering—

does our joy release into the world?




meanwhile, in the rainforest,

the purple orchid peels back its petals,

reinvents opening




questions that start with why

are the hardest to answer—

the lizard walks on water




smaller than a thimble

this frog beside the river—

universe size, my wonder




this old oyster shell

worn by waves into a heart—

love this world, love this world




after two days,

the purple orchids are spent—

giving myself to the waves




the gray and brown wren—

its bright song a mailbox

red flag up




ten thousand times ten thousand

waves on the beach—

letting each one rename me




beside the great strangler fig

enjoying feeling small

in the big, big world






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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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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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