my chest just tightened when i thought about it.
my breath is leaving me anxious. i’m flooded with vivid memories of maui. that feeling i thought i’d filed subconsciously away just reemerged with a vengeance. i felt the air. the smell of the little hut i lived in…marijuana mixed with insect repellent and lavender.
the humidity and the burning sun and the sand stuck with sunscreen on my skin. the blandness of the water running over my mouth when i stood in that outdoor shower and washed the salt from my face. the sound of the creak in the gate, and the bang as it swung shut.
the heat of the nights.
the sprinklers on shopfronts that cooled me as i rode my bike down front street. the asphalt of the road on my toes as i stopped at stop signs. and dragging my thongs as i took off again. palm trees passing shadows over my body. the air-conditioning of grandma’s place. the big terracotta tiles under my feet in the kitchen, the darkness of the shower with the broken lights and heavy curtain.
the shade of the banyan tree.
the coolness trapped between the mountains near the waterfalls near the winding roads. the dampness of the ground and the smell of wet dirt under bamboo plants so tall.
the feeling of my legs indented with marks from the swinging cane chair that hung from a palm tree, under the hut, next to the pool, at the place i called my home.
it hurts my chest to think about it.