The thing about traveling is that you make temporary best friends wherever you go. You meet a complete stranger who overheard you say you’re from Florida, next thing you know you’re bonding over how fucking cold it is in Ireland for you two. You and your roommate for the week salivate over parsnips that seem to come with every meal and by the time the farewell dinner rolls around you’re shouting simultaneously, “Where are the parsnips?” and laughing at the inside joke. You all leave and never see each other again, never speak, but click like on Facebook. Somehow still bonded for life. Strangers yet best friends by this shared experience.
Your land is named after & runs through
the halfway point of two hemispheres,
which is only fitting, because I myself
traverse two sides of multiple worlds.
One foot on each side, straddling the line
between Latin anf American, queer and
not. It only makes sense that the equator
runs through my veins. I was never meant
to be part of just one world, always two, like
God saw fit to give me symmetry. Sometimes
it’s worth the trouble, for views like this, and
moments like these.
Winding dirt paths that turn
into rocky roads lead the way to
hidden routes that few tourists find.
We make our way through into
people’s homes, communities, and
lives, and this time, we’re the colonizers.
I like to think we’re benevolent
though, as we mean no harm
and only want to eat their food
and take pictures of what to them
is mundane. I get it. I’m from Miami.
I know the type. But we’re different
because we know the surrounding
culture outside the edges of these towns.
Hidden roads only to us. Known
and already discovered by the natives
of the land. Isn’t that always how the story goes?
You sit scrawling across
The pages of a spiral notebook
With a mysterious hard cover
By your side. Your eyes dart
Side to side on the occasion
When you stop writing to look up.
Your mouth forms silent words
In what I assume is your method
Of deciphering the text that comes
Next. Two teenage girls sit in front
Of you, giggling at their phones.
I can see their Instagram feeds.
You cannot. They catch sight
Of your momentary soundless muttering
And exchange looks with one another
Setting off another bout of giggles, never
For a second noticing your own lowered grin as you caught them in their own
Catch. I’m writing about you wondering
If in your observations are you
Writing about me?
It’s a muffled call over the speaker
But everyone gathers their luggage
And snacks and pillows
A migration over dirty blue carpets.
One by one, trudge by trudge
We march staccato, weighed down
And imbalanced by heavy bags in varied
States of wear. Start with the back
Of the plane and fill it up to the front.
Just another waiting room until the next one. It almost feels like there is no
Another steep climb over slick gray rocks, but at least
that day the sun was shining. Short on breath, once again
but I paid no mind as I drank it all deep.
Another cliff side looking down to a fall into crashing blue
waves, but this time I faced the height. With cautious steps
and shaking hands, I lowered myself into a sitting
position and swung my feet over the edge.
Boots still muddy from the day before shone dusty against
sapphire waters, far, far below. I leaned low, facing the fall
with a lurch in my stomach and my heart. Oh, I fell.
I wrote this piece when I traveled to Ireland for the first time last year. Been missing it like crazy. I need to go back! It’s been a busy year, and a busy month, but I wanted to make at least one contribution to National Poetry Month.
One part whiskey, two parts hot brew poured slowly
into that fancy ass glass, and topped off with a frothy
cream. Liquor at 9 a.m. is when I knew I’d embraced
the Emerald Isle.
The first sip was bracing, like cold fire spreading
from my throat down my chest into my belly
and suddenly 41 degrees Fahrenheit wasn’t freezing
for this Florida Girl.
The second gulp went down smooth, and the third
I knocked back like a pro. Before the final chug, my
new friends and I raised the last of the rich, brown
concoction, clinking glass. To our newfound Irish health.