Marra Makinen

May 1, 2000 - San Diego
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If only I could travel as far as my eyes can see

An eighteen hour trip with two layovers
But when the mechanical wings finally breach the clouds
It's worth it
This land, however distant, is lush and green
Hills mark the skyline and square patches show the division of farms like a patchwork quilt
White dots speckle the ground and I never realized so many sheep existed

It's different here
I can drink despite only being eighteen
Buses and trains take me places I only knew cars to take me before
I sit around a yellowing booth, cackling with my friends about drug-induced embarrassments
I order drinks on my own
I find my own way back to my one-bed flat
A friend crashes on our pull-out sofa bed
I chug a glass of water to avoid tomorrow's headache
And unplug any unused cables to save on electricity bills

I can't fall asleep
I blame the several vodka-spiked ginger ales
I wonder what my brothers are up to?
It's 1 a.m. here so it should still be early in the evening for them
I miss us
Remember our family road trip to the coast?
A four hour drive away just to sleep in the same room again
We couldn't fall asleep that night because of our childish jokes
God, it was hot
Not like here, where the vegetation thrives in the cool, damp climate
I was so close to the ocean back then
So close to my family
I was less independent
But somehow more free
Maybe I was happier

The hills here are strong, beautiful creatures
Greeting the rain as it comes
But they're grainy, rough, unfamiliar
I look at them and don't know their names or who they are
But when I find the sea
I look out to her and feel smoother
She contains a familiarity only a sixth-sense can feel
Across her breadth somewhere are my childish jokes and sweaty, sun-dried skin
If only I could travel as far as my eyes can see
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