Suitcases with Hawaiian tags will remain in the hallway
For a half week since I’ve been living out of them
For a week and half and don’t feel like unpacking.
Why do I resist unpacking? Not everyone does.
Partly it’s the lack of a bureau to put things away
In a spartan room with a mattress on the floor
And bookshelves and an old much marked up coffee table.
There never seems to be room to put away clothes.
Partly it’s the time lag, not jet lag, but the sense
Of not really being home yet, holding on to the trip
And all that was gathered while being there:
The photos, some techno books from my geeky sister,
A little sand stuffed shiny toy turtle, a bag of Virginia peanuts,
A decoupage box shaped like a book with Japanese writing
And Buddha hands folded on the cover in shades of patina,
two T-shirts, one says “I didn’t do it” the other “Sandbridge,”
a small turtle ring with a yin yang on its belly and back,
a pair of walking shoes from Target and two sports bras,
my mom always buys the sensible gifts at a good price.
But everybody’s suitcases are the same and sensibly black:
People try to make distinctions, tying ribbons of red or yellow,
But the luggage all looks the same anyway, black and ribbons.
I have 2 tags I got in Hawaii of a sea turtle and a triggerfish—
A honu and a humuhumunukunukuapuaa respectively.
In my mind they stand out but not on the conveyor belt.
It’s just a mental notation, as if loud music were going off
When they appeared just because I decided to name them
Octopus’s Garden and Yellow Submarine from the Beatles.
But they are neither loud nor colorful, just plain black bags.
Except that one of them is filled with books and it’ll get emptied.