i found out the meaning of home somewhere along the broken highways of new mexico, red sands chock full of iron and cars carrying tumbleweeds on the underside of their exhaust pipes. i found life out in the desert, spinning off road and out of control until the crash, totalled, broken bones and putting the pieces together again. sometimes it’s hard to love someone when you’re always with them, like how looking at the same side of the moon never gets old because it hides in the daylight, like how eleven-hour car rides can turn into tense late hotel nights.
i found out the meaning of home in a kaleidoscope, neon street signs in a language i’ve never been able to speak, looking for eyes looking for me. there’s something unnerving about the dead of night in kansas city, like a piece of me that no one else has ever been supposed to see, old marks and places where bones were forced to regrow, old sunburns that just live under the skin instead of on display again. i keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but i’m not sure when the first one fell in the first place, like i’ve been waiting to figure out if i’ve ever belonged in a single solitary place, like how every single star that i’ve ever seen sounds like it could hold a home in its heart for me.
i found out the meaning of home in the decay, the falling apart at the seams, plucked out by a compulsive need, snapping loose strings from the sleeves of hoodies until there’s nothing left of me except for the unravelling. the southwest is scattered with the rubble of long-abandoned twice-owned properties, old lots where children never played because the tar has always been melting, liquidating, capitalizing on the collapse of what used to be.
i found the meaning of home but i lost the memory. every word i’ve ever spoken is rotten poetry because i can’t remember what i’ve said or who i’ve claimed to be. i feel most at home when i’m lost, when i’m wandering, and now i’ve been far enough to know that the twisting highways of the midwest will never be confusing again for me. i need to go further, farther away from the mess of puzzle pieces that i’ve been handing out to anyone who wants a part of me. i’ve always been disjointed, like since july i’ve been popping my jaw into place every time i have something to say because it doesn’t want to stay the way that it should be, like i don’t want to stay the way that i am but i have to because it’s expected of me.
i lose myself every time someone asks me who i want to be: lost until i know everything, then pushing and going and moving and never ever staying, making a home in the bones of the sun before she ejects me, evicting me from the ghost town of what her heart used to be. why has everything become arizona to me? like the edge of the grand canyon promising something better than a downfall, a mile down of feeling like flying, like standing on the edge gets my heart racing. maybe the only reason i ever wanted to be dead was because everyone stopped listening, and i’ve always been a performer before anything.
i wish i could find answers from highway signs, in the songs my friends sing in my car as we speed, five ten fifteen eighty, integrity. i wish i had more words after eighteen years of spewing things that don’t have meanings. i wish things were easy, like the rocky mountain breeze coming down from the north and infecting the humidity in a way that makes the sky feel more free. i wish that i could find something that made me feel that free, something besides the seconds before the fall, the anticipation of the drop, the sensation of weightlessness that only comes with being bound or released from gravity. maybe someday i’ll grow wings, fly faster than this toyota ever drove me. maybe home is in the shapes of the clouds, a castle in the sky blinded by the sunrise. maybe home is in the memories, and maybe that’s why i always feel like i’m chasing things.