airplane poetry

product of solo travel days

as i watch all the little snowflakes fall
the flurry feels familiar
but i don’t know what that feeling means now
i used to find a home in this place—
in the mountains which seemed larger than life,
in the cold that hardened my skin,
in the way i didn’t feel alone for once,
when alone was all i really was
i thought the freedom of a distant land
would provide the one privilege i didn’t have
but i was misguided by the allure of independence
and the perception of strangers who didn’t know a thing about me
as i watch all the little snowflakes fall
i’m apologizing to myself for all the ways i rushed
like the wind, i didn’t stop for anyone
yet everyone felt the cold i brought along
it’s a shame to think i once thought being alone was better
if being alone meant i looked like i had it together—
now i let myself learn from the whirlwind
of all the little snowflakes trying to find their place
they may be racing straight for the ground to dissolve them
but their impression is made when they circle each other,
a messy community of pretty things most striking
when they’re together 
the ways of the world have failed to teach me the principle of consistency:
how to be steadfast in convictions i discerned for myself,
or how to be myself in the first place
even if i had been looking for her, i couldn’t have found her—
instead, i was expected to value who they told me to become
to replicate the tried-and-true sequence of events 
—which they called correct—
then told to identify patterns and continue them
so i began to imitate designs which never really suited me
but fit when i tried them on
and earned me compliments as i showed them off
through this, i was remiss to be unchanging
i laced myself in the latest trends because i didn’t know originality when i saw it
how then could i embody it?
what i want today is to be consistent:
to create my own collection,
to be my own model
marked by steady continuity, not self-contradictory
i want the ways of the world to fall off of me 
because i grew out of them
and i am consistently growing into me
to lose a muse
is to taint the painter’s vibrant palette black 
visions of what could’ve been blend together
a blank canvas sneers behind her back 
the weight of inspiration was almost intolerable
yet the irony is in how it feels now 
oh, what i would do 
to be inspired by you
but with this new paint, 
i won't pretend to know how
i’ve dreamt of an airport date
since i identified my imagination 
as something close to magical
i’ve wanted to make up stories of the lives walking by,
sure to make them more remarkable than mine
and to figure out who’s coming and going
we could watch people hugging and crying
pretend like their loved ones aren’t dying
and laugh with joy when we catch a homecoming
i want to order drinks at the bar like it’s a layover
maybe buy a ticket to take off to nowhere
and fall asleep on his shoulder on the plane
it might be sorely saccharine to say 
i want someone to travel the world with
but if you knew me, 
you’d know to say i only want to love them 
really means the same
real, wild joy
to me, feels like seeing a new color for the first time
it is like the section of a song you want on repeat forever
and looking at the night sky without light pollution
joy is when laughter overtakes your senses
you feel it in your belly and somehow almost taste it
joy is when distance doesn’t fade your friendship
and when her baby grasps your finger for the first time
i especially adore joy in voices,
when you can hear a smile over the phone
or when someone just got their very best news
joy catapults itself into the ocean with pants on
it rolls down hills and gets headaches
and it’s in the storytelling of random memories
joy plants my feet next to my bed when i want to stay asleep
turns even the darkest moment into one i want to keep
it takes my hand on every journey,
preserves its place when i'm unworthy
only because the joy that lives in me 
is otherworldly

re: poetry

I love the time of reflection provided by travel days. I’ve spent a good bit of time flying alone over the past two years and I enjoy the unique opportunity I get to be inspired by new, diverse surroundings in what seems like my own little world. Over the years I’ve made poetry something sacred to me, but mostly under faulty reasoning—so to an extent I’d like that to be upended. Hence, airplane poetry.

Poetry lends itself to mystery and ambiguity and misinterpretation. I remember writing poetry as a young teenager about dark things which could’ve gotten me sent away—it was then when I first learned to keep my poems to myself. In time though, I grew comfortable enough to share them with those I wrote about—expressing love through my favorite medium. I can’t quite remember sharing poetry after those people left. I suppose these are small explanations for why it’s taken me nearly three years to share any poetry on this blog.

The thought of sharing my poetry with others has made me feel insecure, embarrassed, and ashamed. For years I’ve thought of myself as “too much” for people. I have a tendency to overshare while simultaneously leaving out the most cherished parts of myself, out of fear of being misunderstood or met with a chuckle of confusion—or maybe disapproval. I’m slowly but surely learning to lay down those fears. I used to worship my feelings, but their fickleness and desperation have misled me one too many times. For me, writing—especially poetry—is a way to identify my emotions, discern between truth and deception within them, and finally, turn the truth into art. Art as its own end. Not to be understood, or accepted, or appreciated. Just an extension of myself.

I have no idea if and when I’ll share any more of this kind of writing, but for today, it is shameless, and it is its own end.