I didn’t travel much growing up, couldn’t afford it or the demands
of state lines and TSA. On my first flight disentangled from Spirit
Airlines, I hated the first-class passengers and their absolute audacity
to dress like shit. My mother taught me that my body was all I had
so I’d better honor it with adornment. Without a doubt, my favorite
smell in the entire world is that of my own perfume. So what? That’s
what happens when a child learns that many lives must eventually
fit in the void of a suitcase. This poem wasn’t about you and now it is.
When we finally meet again in the sleet, I’ll ask: “How did you get here?”
You’ll laugh like always: “I walked. It was so stupid.” It doesn’t matter
how long we take. For half of my life I wanted to die. That’s easy to say
now. Tonight a perfect stranger gifted me, tears welling up in her eyes,
hand on my shoulder, the exact words I needed to hear ten years ago.
I know to listen: Be very good to yourself. Be very good to yourself.