Constant Companions by Kimberly McAfee

I thought I could find myself 

I thought I could be free

I thought I could grow into the person I was meant to be

All in Japan

That puts a lot of pressure on a place, doesn’t it?

Because even after experiencing 

This country’s beauty

The amazing experiences that tourists

Remember for the rest of their lives 

And that people enter ravenous competition

Over TEFL positions for

I’m still the same person

Those precious moments

Engaging the wonder of Japan

Made me forget

The reality of me

Even if just for a moment

I’ve lived in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto

Visited history-rich small towns all over the island

I’ve done the top ten lists

Of tourist delights

Ten times over

Still my anxieties 

My caustic self-hatred

Bubble up inside of me

For all the traveling

For all the pretending

To be more than I am

I can’t escape the reality

A shy, broken person from the other side of the world

I thought I could travel far away

So far that my demons wouldn’t find me

But I’ve learned 

They cling to me

My constant companions

No matter where I go 

Follow Kimberly on Instagram @writerpoetkim

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