Tourist Heart.

We put marks on everything.

Luggage tags,
Name cards,
Signatures,
Post-its

For the longest time, I thought
They were called post-sticks,
Like the sticky note I have of that time
We were in my dorm
And I asked you what the name was
For the thing that heats water up,
And you laughed, “you mean the kettle?”,
Incredulous.

Sticky masses of possibilities,
Encased in scrapbooks: framed.

This was before the age of adulthood,
When the hardest decisions were
“Sushi or Korean?”
When a poem was a thing you wrote
To express frustration
But never shared.
When alcohol was for celebrations,
Birthdays, parties, break-ups,
Not an everyday staple.

Before I wanted to be like Bukowski,
Or Keruoac, back when my prison wasn’t Jack.

There are brilliant squares of color
From where the sunlight never hit
Marking the spaces and distance
Between the day I placed
Tags upon my bag, and packed
A book full of photos, notes;
Jokes heavy with inside meanings,
A post card saying Good luck
And embarked on an odyssey to me.

A postcard heart with a postcard smile,
One-liner tweets and insta-notifications.

Five years, three continents and
Four different forwarding addresses later
I sank down onto my newly painted floors,
In my newly furnished house,
Surrounded by cardboard boxes.
Devoured a beer,
Ripped off the tape.
The memories escaped.

We leave marks on everything, including
Ourselves, fine lines outlining

A map of the cities we’ve explored
Faded polaroids of the people we’ve been,
A kaleidoscope keychain.
Candid shots of two little girls who
Played dress up, imagined weddings
Planned bridal showers and traded baby names.
To teenagers who swapped
Make up tips and too young girls
Sitting under a cherry blossom,
Inhaling the sticky sweet smoke of (c)loves.

I stopped using permanent tape, but learnt
Quickly that blue tack, too, is sticky.

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