Gargi 1h
It’s one of those
nights, right -
The remnants of rain
bouncing off the train
door
More
water on the seats
neatly left alone,
no glances thrown.

Tired women catching up
on each other's days
and work,
giving in to sleep
one by one,
until I’m the only one
up,
gasping
at the deafening wind.

It’s a new world
when the train stops
and the wind drops.
So my feet take me
home.

It’s one of those nights
Every night.
i love travelling in the mumbai local late at night when everyone's so tired they don't even look at their phones.
time is now
must do it right now
meet the dream

from every corner is a threat
they want me working
they want me marrying
they want me playing corrupt games
fuck they
adios
packing my baggage
two pair of underwear and socks/ two t-shorts/ jacket and sweater/ good shoes/ perhaps timbers or some travel shoes from Kickstarter/ notebook and pen/ small phone to use like recorder and photo camera and etc/ toothbrush and toothpaste/ battle of water/ yoga mat/ weed pack/ one pair of jeans/ charger/ / sunglasses/ hat/ books/ shorts/ condoms/

fuck it
that's all

then

hitchhiking to the Warshaw
a couple of months there
living every day on full
going out/ working/ fucking/ meditating/ writing/ doing yoga/ smoking weed/ eating LSD/ meeting/ listening/ talking/ dancing/
deciding where to go next
traveling till feel like came back home
like Forest Gamp did in his running
adios
adios
How do I survive
Each and every day
Without you in my arms
Because no matter
The distance between us
My love for you
Can travel that far
My relationship at the moment is long distance. But I know in due time we will hold each other at last <3
i walked down the stairs
and saw you at the kitchen table
at first glance i noticed you writing
but i couldn't see a piece of paper
i walked up behind you
and put my hand on your shoulder
you looked up at me
with a smile that could light chicago
and pointed to all the pencil marks
on the map you were holding
and said "these are the places i want to go"
until then i'd never seen
poetry that i couldn't read
but something about the lines
and all the plans they represented
brought a tear to my eye
"let's go then" i said
as we ran upstairs to pack a bag
reminiscing about memories
we didn't yet have
and dreaming with both eyes open
Bryan 2d
Blinded windshield, a steady drop.
Cling to the wheel, brake only to stop.
Beginning a journey we hope will not end
Alone and forgotten, the rules which will bend.
Lights shut off, and wipers too,
Gathering weather impedes the view.
Turning the dial to will the bass
The sound feels good as it hits our face.
Faltering eyes, we shut them tight
And activate our fight-or-flight.
That instinctive buzz, the hormone release
Strikes our body and makes us feel free.
A temporary rush as we end our day
Leaves us breathless, and hopeless, with nothing to say
I can’t wait
for stressful planning
and credit charges
for emptied drawers
and stacked luggage by the door

I can’t wait
for communication hardships
and endless researching
for early exhausted mornings
and lethargic confusion

I can’t wait
for belonging searches
and metal detectors
double checking my facts
and momentary panic that i messed up
.....
...
I can’t wait
for airplane seats
and window views
long tiring flights
and transfers in unknown territory

I can’t wait
for screeching plane tires
and strange new air
feet planted on foreign ground
doe-eyed awed
and misspoken anxiety

I can’t wait
for looks directed at me
cautious wonder of the one who’s not native
meeting new people
stumbling over rehearsed words
i don’t know if i’m saying it right

I can’t wait
for new apartment doors
and an unknown bed
thriving in the heart of
the place i wished to see
for several years now
where my dreams took root
and blossomed erratically

I can’t wait
for late night calls to family
i miss you from little sisters
backwards sleeping schedules
but finding my way just fine

I can’t wait for all of this
it couldn’t come any sooner

But most of all
I can’t wait to say
I finally made it
tiamac 4d
take me back to
the home of hyyge
and green apple ice cream
and castles and danishes and street art
take me back to
the musik in Tivoli
the sweetest smelling tulips
and the buildings so bright it makes your teeth hurt
take me back to
coziness
and yellow bicycles
and socks with ruffles
take me back
They make their way surely through a jungle,
Helped by you, the progenitor not just of youth
But of their passing off into a mist.

You will not see it coming, though you will feel it.
You will not be told the date of departure
And it will descend upon you like a frontal storm.

They will have unseemly goals, toward which they strive,
And you will see mistakes but can say nothing.
And if you dare speak, will not be heard.

So they, like mariners of old, venture onto fog-bound seas,
With half-built ships and dreams of gold
That outweigh whatever you might say.

Yet sometime, on the least expected day
They will return to the same land as you,
Hesitant to speak about what they’ve learned.

And many things that they say and do
(Embarrassed versions of you),
Trouble them with a newfound weight
Carrying experience through a gate
And you say, “Stay a while.”

For you can never knew if they only rest,
On their trip to further lands.
Or, without knowing, intend to bide,
And someday cease to roam.
All you can do is hold out your hand
And tell them, “Welcome home.”
Written for our son's birthday, 2015
April 6d
Welcome, Traveler,
You need no longer fear;
This is the home of the wanderers
Too tired to go on.
You’re in good company here.
I never met that medieval Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta, for I would have beset his world travels with heartache crueler than the sea storms that unsettled him,

Known as a travel document, I am more document than travel,

For I am not of the blessed.

They played with my ancestry: I went from world to third-world, developing world, and global south,

As if colourful names ever granted me admission to the geographies of privilege.

I catch a glimpse of my compatriots squeezed between sweaty nervous human hands at passport controls where humanity sheds the pretense of fraternity and re-glues inequalities,

I watch desk officers execute the parochial wave of the times,

A predatory international relations system telescoped into an arbitrary being void of thought,

I am reminded that I have so much power of disdain,  

I keep security needlessly occupied and transits an end in themselves,

I make borders out of iron and visas out of alchemy,

I prolong queues into creeping anacondas,

while turning immigration controls into life stations,

Did you know I can unravel life’s plans?

I make families miss their flights,

Laborers forgo their grandmother’s funerals,

Couples reschedule their honeymoons,

Students skip their graduations,

Scholars show up late to conferences,

Journalists lose their story,

Merchants scale back their dreams,

Refugees. Die.

I turn Africa into Alcatraz with no parole,

remake Asia into arcades with no fire exits,

Cast the undesired Americas into an ailment with no remedy,

while watching Europe send her Marco Polo tribes to a playground called Earth.

I dance with fate, whispering in her ear: who can fall in love with whom, who can discover a new realm where, who can seek sanctuary when, who can question their very being and why.

I am the butcher of stories, curiosities, aspirations and encounters.

I am the sorcerer that makes the Indian backpacker invisible,

I am the heirloom of the troubled nation-state, the algebra of colonial logic, the archangel of a geopolitical apartheid,

Bordering. Ordering. Bothering. Othering.

I trigger a silent cry across the planet: “We never asked for this world.”
This prose poem was inspired by the stories and witnessing of countless friends and strangers traveling on less mobile passports and the torment they have had to endure at airports and consulates. I originally published it on my blog: http://amroali.com/2018/07/passport-the-fallen/
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