Ticket, Passport, Money, Map

My parents dropped me

off at the airport at nineteen

to fly to London with a group of strangers.

Ticket: left coat pocket.

The line to check luggage

stretched on.

Passport: right coat pocket.

“Please take off your shoes.

Throw away liquids over X fluid ounces. Put your laptop in a

separate container.”

Money: jeans pocket.

“Ma’am, please step back through

the machine.”

Map: in my carry on,

front pocket.


The T.S.A examined my rosary in detail, swabbing it

with a shiny tool.

They ran my laptop

back through the X-ray machine.

They threw away my bottle of shampoo.

But on the second leg of my flight, when I reached for my map

(front pocket),

my fingers slid against cool metal blades,


No one caught it.


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