December ended with a medical consultation
$850 in shots and
seven Band-Aids above various muscles around
I punched in on time clocks
and out, every day
and at night while I dreamt, too.
In February, I met somebody.
As a master of bad timing,
I prepared to say goodbye, for a while anyway.
My departure became a looming date ahead.
March was daily lists of
Planning and meetings and shopping for
First aid kits and big SPF’s and bug spray with deet
(what the hell is deet?)
On the morning of the 16th (a Thursday)
we stood behind his car in my street and
I kissed him goodbye.
The potholes between our feet had puddles, and he felt far away.
I flew in two eight hour shifts
as if I were working at a job or two, like usual
but without being paid.
Then we landed in Uganda…
I walked down the stairs from the
plane to the pavement,
marinating in a balmy air
wondering if it was snowing in Wisconsin.
A man took my bags and smiled at me.
His name was Steven and
his teeth were like fireflies in the night.
“Is this your first time to the black land, the black soil?” he asked.
I remembered, very suddenly
(written in 2008)