The First Moment Back

Returning to the states is never easy…

@ Airport in Houston Texas ◆ July 2, 2016 ◆ First Time Back in The States

I step off the plane

My anxiety has kicked in again

For the first time in 30 days

My chest tightens

The back of my throat feels like cotton

I continue walking down the fluorescent terminal

Searching for my next gate

Another layover

I find a cool restaurant on the way

And ask the hostess how she’s doing

while grabbing a lunch menu from her

tiny manicured palm

I’m doing amazing!

She smiles at me earnestly with these

Large, glazed over chocolate eyes

She turns around and tells the other hostess she’s

Hungry and tired of working

And wants to go home

She lied. But I don’t blame her.

I decide that “I am fine” and that I hope

“She has a good day, but really this time”

And I leave off to my gate also hungry

And ready to go back to a home

Which really doesn’t feel like home


And so I squint my eyes

And peer into the vaccuum

Of obvious discontent


And Naively

Feeling that’s it’s the only way

I can make it out of this

Cold, beaming terminal

And back into the only world

that I’ll truly ever know

In one piece.

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Carey is a senior at the University of Oklahoma studying entrepreneurship with a minor in african american studies and social justice. She is a founder, writer, and photographer. She’s studying abroad in Kingston, Jamaica. Check out her personal site here.

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