how to get to st louis

over the great salt lake
we rise like a phoenix
from a dust bowl
that the tourists
mistook for fog.

all day, before flight,
I could taste grit
in my teeth as though
with each breath
my lungs were being encased
with what would soon
become concrete.
dust–just waiting for a
sip of water to mix in
so it could harden and
make swallowing a memory.

the old woman behind me talks
of how grey the city looks as we
make our way towards the
cylinders of wind that await
us miles in the air,
of the unexpected landing
in Wendover, NV, due to
eastern winds,
of the long hours of travel,
to her home in St. Louis,
where she is headed,
as I leave behind
sand and salt.

I think about the quickness
of flight. the ease of the ten
minutes it takes to cross state
lines, to feel boundless, to feel new.
and for the first time I can remember,
I don’t feel as though I am leaving
something behind or arriving at
anything drastically important.
the air is but a catalyst to a new city,
new faces, cultural languages,
but I am no different.

leaving behind nothing
feels weightless and heavy
all in the same breath.
home base is nothing more
than me in this coach seat,
wrapped in a familiar blue scarf.
I want something to leave.
I want somewhere to arrive.
I want destinations and
starting locations…
with a familiar song
singing me to my landing.

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Categories: Poetry

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