Flying

I was a little kid

the night before the first time

I was to board a plane.

I asked my mom

to describe what it felt like to fly.

 

Airports used to be safe spaces for me.

Maybe it was the extra-long security lines

and metal detectors

that gave me the sense

that no harm could come to me here.

Airports are the gateway to the world,

in a completely nonfigurative way.

Everywhere I could think of going

had an actual gateway

leading to a plane

that led to that place.

I loved taking one step on in LA

and getting to step off in Seattle.

(Lately, I haven’t thought of flying

as off to a new adventure

because I’m traveling more often out of need,

and if planes aren’t vehicles

bringing me to an exciting new adventure,

then airports are only well-gaurded buildings

serving overpriced coffee

and more overpriced beer.)

 

My mom wasn’t able to describe flying to me,

that night before my first flight.

She said, “I guess you’ll find out tomorrow.”

I suppose she couldn’t bring herself to tell me

that flying doesn’t feel like the magical feat it actually is.

Flying just feels like

any kind of man-made transportation

except, this time, there is no road

or railway

or attachment to Earth.

Wouldn’t it be surprising to find

that any fatal car accidents

happen when the vehicle is trying to park?

 

I never had a fear of flying.

Take-off nor turbulence have ever bothered me.

I still wouldn’t say I get scared.

Actually, I would choose flying

over any other kind of travel.

There’s the obvious advantage,

the convenience of not having to ride

on a boat for months

to maybe make it across the ocean,

and the fact that getting from LA to Seattle

only takes a couple of hours.

I would even go so far as to say

I love flying

for making the world feel accessible.

(I still don’t love overpriced airport beverages).

 

For some reason I can’t quite comprehend,

I’ve been noticing a new apprehension.

Just at the point where I should be thinking

“At last, we’ve finally made it”

It seems that instead I’ll find

 I’m always a little more afraid to land.

-EKJ

Can We Still Have It All?

I wish I had stopped him from boarding that plane

even though I knew he had to leave either way

I hope when he landed he felt me waiting over here

holding the umbrella he left me last year

you see, I’d stopped writing and that wasn’t like me

but I found new words through these apologies

and so much love that seemed to be lost

it’s not run out like what I thought

leaving someone who isn’t meant to be

shouldn’t be this hard, it should be relief

of course I was lonely, he wasn’t here with me

of course I was scared, it was vulnerability

today I know that I’m all in

and I’m not changing my mind again

I  just need him to remember that big blue house

or the dog named Goose we talked about

because I might not love dogs

but I’d like our dog

I’d like our house and our friends and our city

our life together would be really happy

he needs some time to think it through?

I already know he’s the one I choose

I have the time available for taking

when he’s ready, I’ll be waiting

should I need to be more straightforward

I can chalk it all up to just a few words

Just one line will paraphrase:

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for the rain

-EKJ

Living in the Not Quite Yet

“Wasn’t that enough?”

He was pleading with me

He had told me his secrets

He had let me in his house

I was standing beyond that threshold of a door

in the entry hall

but after one quick glance

I felt ready

(not to stay for dinner)

to take over the kitchen and cook

to see and accept all those spider webs in the attic

to look through the closets

and to lay in his bed

“No”

I was relentless

God, if only I hadn’t said it so seriously

But it wasn’t enough

And now

faced with this question

I wasn’t sure if anything

save everything he had to give

was ever going to be enough

I still wish I could go back

and change my answer

Give myself the chance to appreciate what I was given

Allow him the feeling of having given at all

“For Now”

I would say

-EKJ

 

Sarah

You say you’re cold all the time,

but I think the reason you need the extra sweater

is because you run warm.

The warmer you are,

the colder everyone else must feel.

I know how people surrounding you

are always trying to find a way

to bask in your warmth.

I know, because I’m one of them.

It happens to you

when music touches your skin

and we can see it flow right through you.

It’s light and free

and people might question

whether your movements

are good dancing,

or bad dancing.

All we know for sure

is that we’d like to join you.

We’d like to get taken to that space you occupy,

where the fireflies look like fairies.

The kind of place where you don’t just see emotion,

you are able to feel it quite deeply.

We want to taste sweet sangria

and laugh so loud it’s shocking

(we forgot we were capable of laughing that hard).

We want to thaw in the shelter

of that feeling you give off,

because that feeling,

it’s sunshine.

Sarah,

we want to dance with you.

-EKJ

 

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When I Was 16

When I was 16

I went to a lavender farm.

The whole field was purple

and swarming with bees

and the scent enveloped me

in the most irresistible calm

I’d ever felt.

Now I try to bring that feeling home with me.

I put the purple flowers in the vase

on my windowsill,

I diffuse oil,

I imagine myself

walking through that field.

It’s never quite the same.

When I was 16

I took my first pilates class.

The instructor’s voice

was almost hypnotic

and the ceiling fan

was pushing waves of air over me

like some sort of great relief,

like all of my bad energy

was being washed away

and I suddenly understood why

there were people who believed

in the possibility of achieving enlightenment.

I don’t enjoy workout classes the way that I used to,

maybe I just haven’t found the right one.

I still sleep with my ceiling fan on

whenever I have access to one.

It doesn’t help me fall asleep

the way that it used to.

When I was 16

I thought my ten year plan

was a sure thing because

I’d written it in pen.

That confidence in the future

isn’t really something I go looking for anymore.

I know I’m going to look back on 22

and wish I could find some part of myself

that I left here, I just really can’t imagine

what part that is.

-EKJ

 

It’s Hard to Stay Sorry

Sorry I compared you to the weather,

what a cliche thing to do.

Sorry for being affected

by something that surrounds me

& demands my attention,

something that I have to think about

almost every single day.

Sorry for having to base decisions on

the temperature outside.

To think that I showed skin

on a cold day

still makes me blush.

Sorry that I thought it might

have been nice outside.

I didn’t know that in winter

the shining sun doesn’t signify warmth,

like I didn’t know that some days

your smile doesn’t signify sweetness.

Sorry that every time you were mean to me

I imagined your mood changing colors like

a partially cloudy sky at sunset.

No, I didn’t think that was pretty.

Sorry that in September

I thought we were falling apart,

just like the leaves.

And I’m sorry

that I think of you

every time I see daisies,

those little things

I used to see as flowers,

which really are just weeds.

-EKJ

Snakes Aren’t Friendly

She shed me like old snake skin,

like I didn’t fit with the image

of what she wanted them to see

when they looked at her,

like I was too snug,

confining her to a space

that she just couldn’t stretch far enough in.

The thing is,

now that she’s reinvented herself,

surrounded herself in things that are new and shiny,

she hasn’t shown any signs of growth.

She may have left me behind,

but she’s still slithering

on the same ground.

And when she checks herself

for wounds,

to see where the venom leaked in,

she’ll realize she only bit herself.

-EKJ

Just Imagine When I’m Busy

I spent

13

hours

alone today

with nothing to do

but sit

on the couch

and then

1 hour

with him

at the end of today

still,

not doing anything,

just 1 hour

of being with him

was enough

to equate

the summation

of my day

and allow

the outcome

to be good

and I know

it was that last hour

because

I’ve spent

more that one

13 hour,

nothing to do day

alone

and they

never

end

with quite

so much

content.

-ekj

You Too

I’m very excited to share that this is a guest post! My sister, who’s cutie lifestyle blog is Love, Hannah, sent me a poem a few weeks ago that I felt compelled to share here. The title is You Too and like me, I think that you too will be in awe of these words.

 

Lately, I’ve developed a bad habit of believing you feel exactly as I do.

That you too are longing for the warm nights where we can stay wrapped in each other’s arms.

That you too have imagined a future together.

That you too understand that chasing after this will ultimately result in some form of heartbreak.

But that you too, feel it’s worth it.

That you want exactly what I want.

-HMJ