day 28: territory

You belong to the wind; you carry maps in every pocket from left to right but never peek at them; you are lonely but never alone; you cling to sad but drink laughter through straws that twist and scrape; you are rained on but you know how to splash in puddles that press beneath you; you bleed each month, but you exist on two plains; you are loved but struggle with the aftershock; you are hungry; you sing; you hide yet are not always seeked; you have lied; you collect death behind the yellow and beside the red; you belong to autumn and poetry and every leaf you ever plucked and kept; you are in search of; you are searching; you have searched and sometimes you get closer; you are alive; you enjoy kissing but have a difficult time committing to mouths; you keep an extra set of drawers hidden to keep secrets; you keep secrets; you belong to the trees; you belong to the water that helps you float; you belong to February and blue; you are difficult; you are desired; you neglect your health; you are healthy; you do not always know the status of your sick; you like to dance but only when you are alone; you are often alone; you often forget to understand; you ask questions; you are questioned; you are split; you are; you; belong.

home.

This journey took seven-hundred ninety-eight detours.

This journey took forty-nine heimlich maneuvers from fifty-six choking sprees.

This journey took three hundred and two hairstyles and costume changes per year per mood swing.

This journey took ninety-seven miles of gauze to wrap around the fits of pain.

This journey took an entire prescription pad full of side-effects.

This journey took thirty-stitches and enough scabs to cover the potholes.

This journey took forty-seven gallons of spit, eight pregnancy scares, nine break-ins, an allergic reaction and three wrong numbers.

This journey took ninety-one rewrites.

This journey took six hundred and three anxiety attacks plus four relapses.

This journey took fourteen tablespoons of terror.

This journey took me the wrong way on a highway meant for trucks and I am not a truck.

This journey took thirteen restraining orders and fifteen and a half unwelcome mats.

This journey took one small claims court appearance and a collision of shyness.

This journey took eighty-two trees to chop for all these letters and a hoard of stamps and dedicated postal workers.

This journey took until this moment to finally reach here…reach you…reach home.

unfurnished dust traveling through tumbleweed

“How you love another person might be a reflection of your relationship to God or the world itself, not to the other person, not to any other person, mother, father, sister, brother. Untrusting? Suspicious? Jealous? Indifferent? Abject? These feelings may be an indication of your larger existential position, hardly personal. And the heart is an organ of the soul, in such a case, not the reverse.”   –Fanny Howe
Reference this as a pilgrimage. Gather up leather knapsack but if such a contraption does not exist, prepare the turquoise one given to you by the one who exhales bits of sea glass. Fill it with spiritual remorse, muted sounds of love-making, womb of peace-offerings, reflection of space. Walk to nearest planet where library of crumbled books beg you to put them back together with spit and ink. If such a location does not exist, walk to nearest bodega and purchase a lemon, plastic bottle of honey, and tweezers to pick out the particles of sad hunting through your organs. How do you walk. With hands playing hide-n-go seek in pockets or do they sway like winter’s wind at your side. Do you hop or hunch. What leads you to look up. Write a haiku about the last time you loved:

similar to traf-
fic light, when one is color-
blind and cannot see
 

All these noises are a reminder of the first one. The first time. Or the third time. And all these feelings were gathered on that walk that lasted two or three decades and in your pockets, you picked up moss, mosquito bites, grey, techniques on how to kiss, several steno pads, half of a butterfly, two addictions, an allergy, almost-death, almost-marriage, exhaust fumes, a newspaper dated tomorrow, an over-priced cellular phone plan, champagne mangoes, a dog, a scar, paper, another scar, someone to eat dinner with, a ring which has since rusted, salt.

Before you got here, you were over there. And over there was (maybe) when you were at your happiest or hungriest. Where you need to be is where you are going. So go there.