A TICKET TO THE OCEAN

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 02:49 -- DuBois

I remember the smell of flesh

sizzling on hot cement, the wind

tangling my hair, my toes turning to cherry tomatoes. Jump!

they laugh in my ears,

dark eyes gleaming as coffee hands grasp

my trembling ivory. Tumalon! Jump! It’s not that far. You’re

 

perfectly safe, the flight attendant croons, in her pressed

uniform that smells of bleach and

goodbyes. This is flight 4071 from Lexington to

 

Manila bay crashes against the

barnacle-pimpled pillars, foam cresting the murky teal depths

beneath the pier. I quiver upon the edge, practically

naked and helpless to realize my dream

to leap. To let go

 

of my mother, who clutches me tight to her turtleneck till

I taste the honey mint of her hair and

crumple the ticket in my fist for

fear I will waiver

and stay

to watch the death of a dream. I shut my eyes to

the year ahead, to the sacrifice of

her embrace for the reward of

 

crisp salt brine whipping my freckles, scrubbing at

the fear clinging like oil. Fear that regret

will follow what I

didn’t do, to carry it always as a plane

ticket never used. Come on! It’s only

 

one call away, Mom whispers. I open

my eyes and inhale

the roiling sea, loose

the ticket and

leap

 

This poem is about: 
Me
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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