The Pleasures of Travel

The Pleasures of Travel

I adore every moment of the many voyages
I never took
The day I found the monster fungi of the mountains of the moon
Lit fluorescent green by amorous fireflies
Hopelessly lost like me

I recall my epic Latin bus tours
Mornings of mezcal and nights of acrobatic parrots
Women who grew rosy with the dawn and
Disappeared in moonlight, their black curls
Swaying in rhythm to the stars above

I thought I’d died that steaming noon the
Plane ditched in the Blue Snowy Mountains
Stolen from Scotland via the Amazon
Yet that craggy climb through pines and macaques
Still stirs grit in my soul

And then there was her
Immutable, inscrutable
Lovely in mind and fearsome in body
Met the night my kahlua was stolen –
That bus refrigerator never worked
Who always sat by my elbow
Her eyes mimicking the cries of crickets
Her closed mouth saying everything

The best trips I took
Never got made
My happiest moments
Never happened
But now as I consider this fabulous past
Lacking all beautiful evidence
I’m soothed by my ventilator’s music
The hospital’s cool rasp of electric air

I reflect gratefully on all I never knew
Sportscars that jacknifed off cliffs
Jets that raced into glaciers
Trains leading to jungles not on any map
The many who loved me when not loving themselves
All in the best life I could imagine

Though it never happened
Every second was worth it