Travels in the 1st person, singular

Sometimes it’s lonely to live with all the pretty images in my head.

To see the beams of the log cabin with the red corrugated roof, close to where the earth tumbles in sodden chunks into the seasonal riverbed

To see through to the tilted metal stove with a circle cut from the top, the perfect size to rest a cast-iron pot in.

The golden crunchy crust of the sourdough, a tang you smell even before pushing through the wood-and-aluminum door, the door always open on days when the sun shines.

You don’t notice the horizon of snowy peaks until, turning from the heavenly smells hovering on the stove, you look out the way you came in— unnamed mountains fade in and out of the blindingly blue sky.

Endless space can be dizzying, the freedom of nothingness can be terrifying and awesome.

There are a few bikes resting at seemingly random tilts on the grass, a few horses tied loosely to the clothesline, a few dogs lazing about, watching.

The sourdough taste still sticks to my palate and makes my mouth water. My senses put me in the damp grass, water-filled rainboots slowly warming as my feet cool. I wish i could share with you the clean smoke smell of a wood fire in a metal stove with the bread crisping on top. The thin sour-sweet smell of reindeer milk drying on hands, and the chill of the wind on the wet curly baby hairs that line my temples.

Let me take you there, where the road, such as it is, ends, and the water stands knee deep on the hill.

Close your eyes and I’ll take you there,

To the pretty spot in Mongolia I still see with my eyes closed

There is

Each human face anchors me.

Draws a silken thread to fill in the web a bit more.

Alone, we are fragile; together, strong–

that first lesson after death.

I travel because to live is to know life.

To learn as much as we can from every angle of our Human face

and with this knowing, rejoice in our difference like an endless table of flavors spread out before us.

“Universal Truths”

A white man’s existential crisis

Thrown into relief as the complexities of culture pass in front of the first flame

In a cathedral in England, probably,

Though the silent bones in a hundred frozen tussocks would beg to differ.

Nuance flickers more starkly in the cave of knowledge. Throw these “universal truths” to the ground and start again,

only This time our humanity is the drawing board.

Wake up

to news of an explosion in bangkok, a wedding in peru, a woman finally educated on family planning in myanmar. These people’s lives tug gently where they anchor in my skull; their hopes and fears and landscapes bob in the waters encircling my mind, carving out the angles of a face.

Strive harder to create representations of all people in the world. We are a young girl nestled in a ger on the steppe. We can find role models and changemakers who look like her, in appearance and in spirit. Draw strength not only from the human qualities which bring us all together but from the sheer possibility for difference, for innovation, for infinite permutations of the human spirit.

10,866

miles apart
You whispered sweetness in my ear in a language you denied the romance of.
You said i stole your soul, left you broken,
For we were not made for each other.
How do you know?
What is fate but a series of choices towards happiness
Or desire?
An aching hole left despite seas and “si”s
How can I love you
I am mute in your presence
I cannot reach you face to face , my words stumble across keystrokes, copy paste, google translate a lackluster matchmaker, cold to the crackling fissures of misunderstanding.

I whispered your words aloud, straining to comprehend the foreign vowels rolling across my tastebuds, parsing sounds. words cluster this way and that, straining to hear similes from the slang you give me
You say you are made for the spirit, not of this flesh
So why did you tell me you loved me that night
Held my body close, laying claim to my soul
The windows rattled for hours and every room in the house sighed our names.

Cardinal directions

I hop among cultures.
No sense of home
But homes in every corner of the globe.

My only sense of direction lies in the way my exhausted body falls upon the bed.

Moments of spiraling inward, pensiveness,
the desire to write strikes in the dead of night
Or between water breaks on the mountain, as the vista from the land before time stretches in foggy green blues across the horizon.

Relationships form as a kaleidescope of images.
I live immersed in the present
But run from the future,
Cloaking myself in a patchwork quilt of layover boos and practical impossibilities. Homeless means more than home less.

I know the States when the sea of faces before me flows on a tide of slightly bloated vanilla yogurt features.
In Tanzania, colorful and self-possessed patterns nestle neatly into each other, permeated with the warm comforting smell of goats. In Mongolia, it is sheep. Everywhere. The smell seeps from the folds in sun-wrinkled faces.
And China. Too many smells make up the streets and

We’ve all phoned in the last assignment of the semester before.

I ramble to myself in a tilt of tongues, phrases picked up through mimecry and dreamlike repetition
Lap se bai de mai?
Oclooney mint, bon dia
Every morning I wake unsure of which view to expect from my pillow.
Are we tented at the edge of the world, looking out where dinosaurs in the form of stockinged birds continue to roam,
Or am i bundled in my sleeping bag atop a felt pad in the rolling possibility of the Steppe?

Should i expect a diet of cheese curd today
or will spicy curry sear my taste buds with agonizing pleasure?

All i know is the pants i have worn day in and day out,
My shoulders covered no matter where i go
(American airports are shocking in their indecency)

I could say the news doesn’t reach me here
Except the winds of discontent blow hard and fast across the pacific,
Chasing me. Reminding me

No matter which way I turn my sails,
Magnetism affects us all and I always wind up
Charging my batteries

Staring out at the view from my childhood window.