the forces on a 22 year old from nowhere

way up here i am tethered, ungrounded.
my ears pop.
for $9.99 i am fed three warm
lumps of meat.
everyone around pleads
for ginger ale
over the silent scream
of the engine
which we trust
with our lives for
05 hrs 53 minutes
this time, and each time

each time way up here i get all
emotional, who knows why.
i think maybe there is a compass
spinning caged in my ribs
up here, in the air.

on solid ground, for two weeks after
i flutter. will you stay? I ask my sister
as my feet press solidly into snow tracks
i slide over boots that have taken me everywhere.
will you stay? here? here? no one comes to alaska
and shrugs. They either
fall in love or
call you crazy
for living where
the sun barely crosses
the whole sky before it sets.

will you stay? i ask her again, and my compass heart
pauses. yosemite, burlington, san francisco, new york home
is a place I go to feel like myself.
or maybe home is a person after all.
maybe home is anywhere i make it, like

here, there is mountains and sea,
more coffee shops per capita than anywhere but
seattle, dancing lights and the kind of people
who get their warmth & light from somewhere less
obvious than the sun.


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