You are now entering the Jewish Currents archive.

Channel Esther: I Am Going Away

Esther Cohen
January 2, 2015

by Esther Cohen

“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”
—Kurt Vonnegut

il_fullxfull.368612038_l9h0I AM GOING
away on my own
away from my
thousands of possessions
books papers my button
collection my grandmother
collected buttons too
I have chosen ten earrings
ten days
I couldn’t take blue ones
I am trying to be
unencumbered I fail
at unencumbered
naturally encumbered
I want twenty pairs.
Books too I had to choose couldn’t download
six because I’d feel
I would have to read all six
I might not have time to read
so I chose two. I tried
taking just two of everything
two pairs of pants two shirts
two notebooks what if they’re
not the right two?
When I was young
I traveled a lot. All I needed
were earrings and perfume.
Today because I am
carrying on my luggage
I can’t take my perfume.
But I am going away
going to Mexico to poem.
Last year I tried to go.
Three storms in a row.
But this year, it’s a beautiful
day. My plane is on time.
I have chosen my earrings.

They may not be
the right two.

Esther Cohen co-edited the Jewish Currents art calendar and is author of Book Doctor, among other fiction and non-fiction.