‘Vacation’ is the American word for ‘holiday’

Where I no longer need to imagine
lain nestled amongst patchwork quilts of tremendous 
is home

Where happiness struck me with the first breeze
beyond the threshold of automatic airport doors
and souls as old as time embraced me
for the first time in my life
I felt at home

A place where 
laughter rang with more vibrance 
and coloured the rain when it stormed around us
I am convinced it was us that painted my front door yellow
and my linen blue
and my skin without makeup
It was you who undressed me with the most delicate touch
hands capable of violence 
eyes pitch black, windows wide open
to ensure the scale of me
I felt small beneath you
It was you who ran fingers over my body with hunger
but restrained himself 
while I lost my mind in atmosphere of you
and words tumbled free like children in a snowfield 

I shed my former skin in that shower
the very first day
When I washed the filth of 
recycled air and
recycled doubt 
from the very bones of me
As though I stepped behind the curtain
into scalding water
and scrubbed every inch of myself
with sharpened nails and a steel toothbrush
because you didn’t deserve to dine in squalor
and I didn’t deserve tainted skin

Where faith and incense enveloped me 
and I thought I may choke on kindness
amidst family and priceless smiles
I did yoga in the basement on the Fourth of July 
to avoid fainting 
I heard every word from every mouth
every beat on every drum
every footfall, 
was precious 
This is where impending departure crushed me
and I lost a little light from my eyes 

Where my tears were wiped by you
and I saw conflict in the forests of you

Where tall men sat beside and held me

Where strong women cried in my arms

Where I gave myself as a parting gift
but still had to board the plane
is the place
I call

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