Looking back it seems as though
I've spent an inordinate amount of time
Feeling weepy in airports

As a child I cried on the plane
Leaving Chicago
Every February
As if I'd never see my cousins again
Even if we fought the whole time
And I hated every sport they loved
Every February like clockwork
I cried on the plane

And then all those times
Coming home from Mexico
after dancing Butoh in the mountains
Sitting in Sala A
And scribbling messy field notes
in a marbled composition book
With mud still under my fingernails
And some parasite or another
Wreaking havoc on my insides
I'd close my eyes and feel tears build up behind my lids
Half unable half unwilling
To release
And detach
Even if both are primary tenets of the dance

Or that one time at LAX
Watching my first love go back to Colombia
Disappearing into the security line
His last look back to me
So beautifully cinematic
and tortuous

Or that other time at LAX
When another love was lost
And all I could do to keep it together
Was clutch a wooden rosary
and get on a flight to DF
while listening to Roario Flores
Sing Agua y Sal on repeat
Water and Salt
Water and Salt
Feeling so bad for the old woman next to me
Whose face looked weathered enough
To have warranted far more tears than my own.

After the summer of the sundress
When the woman behind the counter at JFK
Told me my luggage was too heavy
I tore through it a manic craze
And cried over the dresses I purchased at Port Authority
and wore to Broadway shows
As I shoved them in the trash
Like I could bury the pain
And forget the joy
They brought me.
Wait. I think I meant that in reverse.

And now
Leaving Thailand
Trying not to look stupid
As my eyes water
And salt
Over this last plate of the best food
I'll maybe ever eat
And I think of the people who touched my soul these past six weeks
of how they came to be a part of me
As I came to know a part me
That like them
Wasn't there before.
With every deep breath it feels as though the flood gates could break open.

I've learned to make room
For bittersweet sadness
At airports
Getting on planes
It seems
Can be a total trip.