this makeshift family / leaving and landing

the sounds of quail
skittering about my tent
running in the cute and frantic way they do
and calling out (to each other? to the sun?)
as the first light of day seeps in
the deep bluegray to the west
with the gold of the twin peaks against it
as i emerge from the tent
to a faint rainbow
arcing amongst all of this
the thing that happens
when, ready for departure, eduardo addresses me playfully by name,
and the thing that happens
when i turn my back a little
after hugging him and  josé and sergio,
and sending them off with wishes of buena suerte mi amigo
(which is supposed to stand in for:
may you be so safe and careful and strong and
may you navigate the desert with the ease of a captain guiding a ship with the stars
and may the light in you that you’ve shared/shined these past few days keep shimmering
and may your kindness/sweetness prevail over turning hard
and may you know that my heart is different because it holds you all now
and thank you for laughing with me across the boundaries of language and
may you be prepared for the people who are going to be assholes to you while also knowing that kindness and warmth awaits you too
may you have all that you need to thrive
as you journey and as you land

cosmic hi-five i say to geena
as we once again cross paths
one of us on our way in
one of us on our way out

the xmas blessing that carolina 
shares with the group as we hand-hold
and how the tears in her voice
bring out the tears of others as
we gather around this makeshift family
in this makeshift home

although he has shared his name
several times now
it’s not until i ask him to spell it
that i understand: alcede
and i pronounce it back over chocolatey torte
that the townies brought

the pre-sunset light
tossed across the snow-veiled santa ritas
as we head north and the fact
of the ease of moving through borders
and the lack of harassment
(based on our skin color)
is not lost on us
in the pockets of quiet
between conversation
the quiet and warmth and clean
of landing back at hazel and dirk’s
and a name for the inability to process
the reality of camp held up against
the reality of home
but it is useful
to think that no one
lives at camp,
that we are all passing through there,
just the privilege and possibility around leaving and landing
plays out differently