when I was very young,
I used to lay awake
and watch the cracks on my ceiling,
trying to puzzle out what it must feel like
to step off a plane and onto foreign soil for the first time.
I imagined that, upon landing, a traveler would instantly recognize a change
some deeply mysterious stirring in his soul,
and he would know he wasn’t in Kansas anymore—
nothing is ever the way you dreamed it
when you were eight,
harsh as that reality is.