travel bag packed, but not ready to go: Poetry

1. with a passport to countries dreamed up on midsummer nights or stolen from vintage postcards and nat geos still smelling of faraway seas/ remember the waters of a medieval venice, gleaming like a dirty mirror/ remember the street lights shimmering in that strange arabian city where we first found the scattered fragments of our soul/ remember

2. the peppermint toothpaste that your lips tasted of on sunday mornings made of stale television and espresso/ canned tuna skewered into cold sandwiches/ we never checked for expiry dates/ you telling me of destiny/ i answering with a tale from grandma’s mouth/ of a goddess who stepped on the eggs of ants/ and watched each of her hundred children die

3. my wallet still filled with wishing coins  and tickets of roller coaster rides we’d been on/ half a century ago/ and a postcard of a memory we are yet to make/ we who were born of stardust and ancient as the old moon/ that the wolves don’t sing to anymore

4. i keep the gyspy clothes you’d make me wear on nights i spelled fortunes for strangers whose dreams were stolen from them/ the rabbits outside our tent were making violent love/ do you remember the red satins, the purple velvets, your mother’s jasmine-selling faded silks/ my fingers are blistered from ironing them/ day after day after day

5. the medicines i store in old dusty perfume bottles/  medicines that were once potions to cure heartache/ made of herbs collected by the light of a waning moon/ in forests bleeding with music/ now we’ve lost the instructions too/ our alchemical love withering into dust and rust and black-

6. remember the wrong shade of lipstick i always wore/ like the pink of an evening sky that cannot make up its mind/ you telling me how it was the lights that were always wrong/ how you loved me best in darkness/ and i believing you, sang our soul into shadow

7. i’ve memorized the maps so often, i feel they’re a part of my skin/ but love is this continent i’ve always wanted to visit/ but could never afford the ride/ i, the lonely half of a hyphenated word/ teach me again, the cartography of the heart/  and perhaps this time/ my soul will be worth a wishing coin

Image Source
Previously published in Allegro Poetry Magazine.


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