When I Travel I Don’t Bring Maps

I stopped making my feet foundations in stone
I got bored of standing
So I walked into the ocean at low tide, watched the world wipe itself clean and put me somewhere new
Where they speak French
Or Norwegian
Or American
Or lonely
A lot of people…speak lonely
I do
Like a second tongue I keep in the roof of my mouth for talking to myself
I talk a lot sometimes
Sometimes I ask a lot of questions
And try as I might my second tongue is so damn dry it sounds like velcro
Or the page of a book protesting the finger that singles it out and turns it over
Because it knows that when it is not here it is gone and it like me doesn’t want to sleep alone tonight.

This part is going to alienate you but fuck it I’m not afraid of that
When you talk about home, there’s only ever one person who gets it
If you want to talk about yours go ahead
I’ll wait.
My home is two arms bridge-stitched together
If there are trolls underneath them
They have gills and breathe seaweed and traffic cones
That’s why none of us go swimming in the in-between
We just watch the reflections of streetlights fireworking their way up stream until they reach the ocean
Just trolls and fireworks sinking into angler fish
My city is pretty.
Like neurons dancing around a soul
Backflipping over back lodged knives
Making mince meat out of tragedies
Don’t breathe too hard though
The river smells too much like seagulls and broken glass
But the echoes are beautiful
Like songbirds in a belly made of metal
The people in my town, we rust together
That’s what home is like
Slowly turning to dust with other people
Until all you are is a smile or a fist
My home is all smiles and any tears we shed along the way watered down the happiness just enough so that we were interesting but not burning brilliant suns, you can upturn a glass of me and feel the warmth hit you just right.

In my house the foundations are made of old bibles
My mother collects them like sea-glass
I’m pretty sure if I spent enough time in a gospel
I would find her singing psalms
My house smells like dad’s cooking
In other words my house smells like the best meal I’ve ever had
In other words I’m still trying to find words that taste like that smell
Basil comes really close, but so does whisky so you get some idea of the range
I love my home
But I know it’s different from my father’s or mother’s or brothers’
Like I said home is for you and no-one else

When I travel I don’t bring maps
I crack open a city like an egg and dive into the yoke and work my way from the inside out
Weaving the backstreets together like veins in a ….creature
Today is a grizzly bear, but yesterday it was a bat and I’ve got a feeling tomorrow is going to be some kind of trout or octopus
It doesn’t really matter
The point is that it’s alive.

This is the part the lonely speakers will get
You see I sometimes find myself away from the crowds on purpose
Whoever tells you that the cure for loneliness is people…well they may be right
For me it’s the opposite
It’s walking alone
At night
Trying to find out if the stars look any different exiting a church as they do a cinema or a bar
Either way you’ve just walked out of a spectacle
And it feels good.
But I get tired without someone to act like the full stop underneath the question mark
I’m unfinished
And until they start making maps with heart stealers and breath takers I’m going to need a little more than local points of interest in my directions
I’ll stitch my own together from the beers here to the view there to the fog at that place to the eyes in that bed
I’ve been travelling a lot lately
And I thought I found what I was looking for
I did
But it rusted too fast
So until they make a map
That’ll put both my feet in front of a girl who can open up like an old bible foundation
I travel without maps
Hoping I just might find her accidentally.