im afraid for our future
i stay up swiping through reposted articles
about unexplainable beached whales
plastic outnumbering fish in the sea
& have to wonder
do we really have a chance?
will we get the life
where we grow old
& have kids?
isn’t it a disservice, to want kids
only to leave them in the mess of our making?
will we have the years
to travel to the breathtaking sights?
& will they still be there for us,
when we seek them out?
its enough worry
to engulf me
much like the oceans will
unless i burn to a crisp first
theres this tiny dissonant thought
im assuming its the innate
primate in me
that encourages fight over flight
life over death.
it softly murmurs
in the spaces between
the cold hard beating,
& what if
despite all to come
you will have
a wonderful life?
i always kind of liked being unreachable
meant i was un-tethered to the “real world”
i mean i hated that i had a radius
a short distance & practiced route
to get me to & from the hotel
so i wouldn’t get lost.
but at least i couldn’t be bothered
when i was away.
but you went & got me an international data plan
because you know i have a tendency
of getting lost
[even on practiced streets]
so i could be reachable
if i wanted to be.
& instead of feeling tied down
tethered by a leash thats been shortened with this newfound accessibility
i felt even freer.
because when i saw the snow fall in Japan
i could tell you i was thinking of you.
when i tasted the most amazing dessert in Australia
i could send you a photo of it, & tell you to come with me next time to try it for yourself.
because the difference is,
everything i wander towards
i want to share with you.
because you are my world.
He always stands in front of me on descending escalators,
& behind me on ascending ones
because he knows I have a propensity for falling.
He packs an overcoat even though he knows he’ll never use it,
because he’d rather carry the extra garment
& give me the option of having an added layer to protect me from the cold.
He sends me videos of himself,
welcoming me to whatever country,
state, city I’m flying into
so that however bad of a flight I had,
it’s always remedied with his bright smile.
He writes me notes with the sweetest sentiments
& sends them via email when he knows im still sleeping
so as not to wake me with a text notification.
These are the gestures
however small or large they appear
that lets me know
he chooses me.
each and every day.
ive never been so sad to be away from you.
but ive never been so happy,
to realize how sad i am without you.
how deeply i adore you.
in my life
in how much i miss you
& it’s only been a day.
& we don’t cohabitate,
so it’s not a matter of readjusting
to having the entire bed to myself
or the lack of morning breath kisses
or timely meals shared after a long day of work
this is an emotional pull
but is only obvious to me.
its my body instinctively knowing you’re too far for comfort
& that anxious feeling reverberates the 7,803 miles separating us
& keeps me from being at peace.
they say distance makes the heart grow fonder
distance is the litmus test
that tells me
every cell in my body is protesting
against this thing called distance.
missing people easily isn’t natural for him
& now that i think about it,
it isn’t for me too.
i’ve had boyfriends go on
long family vacations
& they’d have to pull the words out of me
“don’t you miss me yet?” they’d ask.
i’d say it because..
you’re supposed to say it.
but it was usually such a relief to have them away
it told me i could be fine without
which i thought was just because i’m reasonable
just slightly emotionally detached.
but with you,
i may be at the mercy of my feelings
i may fall apart when you leave.
& the ache will be a throbbing never ending feeling
that can’t be satiated with texts
& quick layover visits
& alexa drop-ins
& you’ll think to yourself,
this girl just feels too much
& assume that this is my M.O when people leave me,
but it’s as if my heart just reserved all this,
just for you.
we sit there, having finished our meal
me pressed to your side, people watching
we quietly observe the tired families who pass us
pushing on to make their time
your arm is draped over my shoulder, casually.
im peaceful. im happy.
“are you gonna be devastated when i leave?” he asks,
i pause, holding my breath, pressing my lips hard together to keep from blurting out my truth.
“im really worried about you that’s why…” he says, filling the silence i created, as he leans in to kiss the side of my head.
“i dunnoooo… i mean, what do you think? .. are you going to be? devastated i mean?” i shift away from him so i can turn to see his face.
“yeah, i’ll be a lil’ devastated” he shrugs.
“i just.. i dunno. i don’t do well with change– well no one does i guess. but i’m a creature of habit. i like plans. this will just shift… things. im afraid of the unknown.”
“yeah i know”
“i mean… i could fly mostly Pheonix. i like it. it’s good credit.. and i could visit. but is that what you’d want?”
“yeah of course!”
“but i don’t want you to feel obligated to see me, just because i’m flying there. i don’t want to be an obligation.”
“no. you won’t be.. but you have to understand, studying is studying. that’s a non-negotiable. after those first 9 months of school, i’ll have more flexibility”
“i get that…” i nod slowly, reassuring him of my being on the same page, “yeah. i get it.” i reaffirm, giving a final, concise nod, as if my chin was a firm handshake agreeing to these terms.
i lean back into him as we resume our people watching, letting our words sink in
” i just need you to know though..” i begin, looking down at my lap, “this,” i draw a circle widely with my hand in the space before me, “whatever this is… it’s important to me… you know?” i turn to face him again, to make sure he understands.
my eyes flit acros
the power he holds.
his eyes shrink to mischievous slits, “oh? this isnt just fun for you?” he smirks.
i nervously laugh, “no. you know it isn’t. not for me. for you?”
he stops smiling, “no. its not.”
“ok. good.” i nod.
its not ground breaking
but its a start.
Sometimes i wonder if my career will eventually desensitize me to my love of traveling
living day to day in different cities
“the world must seem so much smaller to you now huh?” i was asked
“actually, it feels so much bigger. i visit cities i’d never thought i’d want to visit in a lifetime” i replied.
but i think i miss,
the way traveling was a luxury
even an anxiety
the way airports gave me goosebumps
& i would savor the experience,
even down to the prepackaged nuts
because i wouldn’t know when the next time i’d enjoy them would be.
i listen in on pockets of eager early morning conversations in line at the airport Starbucks
lusting over all the excursions they’re going to embark on once they land,
or reminiscing about all the experiences they’ve just had as they head back home.
sometimes i witness the travel bug symptom of guests being extra nice to each other
because they know their prepaid vacation’s outcome hangs in the balance of getting along with their siblings, their seat neighbor, their husband or wife… & no one wants moods soured over something so trivial in the grand scheme of Disneyland, NY Times Square, or some other highly sought destination.
self, dont let this routine take away the wonderment of exploring