A poem I wrote in late April 2019, after returning from a 10 day solo hiking trip in Japan.

After the trip,
after the mountains and temples,
profusion of another continent’s blossoms;
after the awe and fights in my head
about language and custom
and roots of belief; 

after talking with God
and sleeping through vivid, cough-up dreams;
after slipper gaffs and naked baths;
after traversing the urban digestive track
and the flight
and the five-mile walk home;
I crashed.
Body done, parasympathetic 
nervous system upended, seeking
balance and finding
none but the gut punch
of a passing Shinkansen for three days.
Chills, fever, no food.
A physical accounting for freedom.
Conservation of momentum played out
in my veins.
But I ran today at a crawl,
words smattered over the sidewalk.
I accept, 
with the bitter, salty warmth
of breakfast miso,
I’m still half there.