The Things We Carry, The Things That Carry Us

The barista and her customer flirt across the counter, talking about taking off and traveling the world. Her hand wings across her hair. He leans in, practically leaving the ground. In the corner booth, my wanderluster heart pounds its caffeine call.

I dump my life on the table, take stock of all that weighs me here. It isn’t what you think. These keys are temporary, the beat of this work can drum anywhere.
I’ve got two folded twenties, a book of stamps, a deck of tarots. The two of cups

always rises to the top. I’ve made a light life. A pound of feathers and my heart a lead balloon. Even softcover books gain gravity if you read them long enough. If there’s a bookmark in my story arc, it’s made of hand-pressed parchment and

googly eyes. One of these things is not like the other. We are all dichotomies of scale. When I pack every morning, I understand that I might not be coming back.
I carry underwear, socks, vital body parts, the necklace from the ocean, my

unwedding ring, the time I missed my plane, an invitation to a baby shower that didn’t happen. A two-holed stoned, a lock of hair, lust, a missing mother, a disorder of magnitude. I have checks, balances, blankets, my passport, an empty

coffee cup. I rise to fill it. The barista steps away from her flirtation, the click of a door closing. I hear the lock turn, the key pocketed. I wonder if she’s remembered to pack what matters. I remember I’ve left the most important thing at home.



Ramblepoem. Based on the actual incident at the coffee shop, written while I’m still sitting here, watching them flirt.

This entry was published on February 19, 2012 at 11:00 am and is filed under February, Poems, Seattle, Self-Portraits. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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