I will need to change my passport soon.
Every stamp says to me –
Hey, you didn’t die yet. See the places
you can go? I flipped through
my passport in a coffee shop in Seoul
and for ninety minutes I watched
an internal movie of the moments
that made it worth being alive.
In my cinema: SF. HK. Places that
still smell like war – Vietnam, Korea
and I felt, right then, so fiercely proud
of myself that I
tasted it like a sickness
at the back of my mouth
and I thought of the beginning of the movie. How, when I was fourteen
every day hurt in the way that only
teenage days do
and I couldn’t answer a ringing phone
and I couldn’t shelve my pain on anyone else’s shelf
so I displayed it
sticky red and ultimate
and how I was lucky to see fifteen
and how, after everything
after ropes and pills and flights and lies I made it
to twenty-five and yes, I’m afraid
but I still take planes.
In that stamped
burgundy and gold bundle
are places that blunted the knife-edge
of being young
and bored and unhappy and
I guess I travel like I do everything I do
that is: to prove I exist.
Each pin stuck in the map
is one drawn from myself
like a voodoo doll, in reverse.