Solana Travel Writing, Spring 2021
Wake up to the sound of coqui frogs
(you went to sleep to their lullaby too) If its early or late,
The sound of a boar rooting
Outside the tent
(you take a peek).
If its 3am,
Wake to the sound of roosters
Chasing chickens in a mating dance.
The first thing your feet will feel upon exiting the tent
You are always damp anyway,
So what is dirt
And the residue of decaying leaves,
And the crunch rustle of hollow
Macadamia nut shells,
The tender meat eaten away by
Hoku, the black dog, with flies that
Drink from his eyes,
Brings you avocadoes sometimes.
Perfectly ripe and unpunctured,
Or mangoes or papayas,
It is breakfast in bed.
I will pick coffee berries today,
The trees full of little spiders and mosquitoes That eat me, a little at a time, day by day, I become more insect, they become more me. Afternoons are spent in the warm tidepools Of lava and reef,
Where all the sand is little shells,
You sit and half of it walks away from under you On crustacean limbs.
Starfruit has never tasted so sweet,
Washed in the ocean and crisp
We watch dolphins play in the distance.
There is a nostalgia I try to grasp,
Even years later, hot black coffee,
The mesh windows,
That let’s in the geckos
The tea house on the ridge that we never visit, has the best view of the horizon.
We sleep all night on a wooden platform, Not quite level, and the blood rushes From your head to your feet.
The midnight showers,
In a wooden hut, lit by a flashlight
Precariously balanced on a
Motley collection of ceramic frogs
That watch you, naked,
As you try to get clean,
Then dry off with something that
is half mildew, half towel.
Sometimes, the cats watched too,
Slinking their way through
The curtain in place of a door,
Careful enough to stay away
From the spray of the shower nozzle.
I hated the rain,
To let it wash away my homesickness. Most mornings,
It would pour.
For a month
I walked slowly through slippery mud to the main house,
My feet a timid sacrifice to the elements.
On my final day,
I gave no offering of apprehension. I believed I belonged,
And knew every safe step.
And in that final journey,
Mud and leaves in my hair, down my back my skin baptized
In everything that Kona is made of.
I lay there on the slope, frozen in shock, Looking up at the rain that thundered down From the sky to fall
On me and around me,
I opened my mouth to laugh
And the rain fell into me.
This is how you begin to become.