50 lbs or less

The perfect traveling outfit is comfortable and says don't mess with me or I will eat your face.

The perfect traveling outfit is comfortable and says don’t mess with me or I will eat your face.




-for JW


Toothbrush. Pajamas. Chargers

for phone and computer. Check.

Check. Check and check. Ah! Hairbrush!

How helpful of the airlines to declare

our essentials weighed 50lbs or less–

so now I can decide that it’s these cowboy boots,

and these cowboy boots but not those cowboy boots,

my knitting project, only three books on the history of photography–

this suitcase has roller wheels and expanding pockets–nail polish

tucked inside my socks, three pairs

of jeans, 4 black t-shirts because they go

with everything. My curling iron,

my straightening iron, my travel iron,

a pair of running shoes, which means

running clothes and running socks which means

my water bottle which means

I have to drink it all before security–what am I forgetting?

my contacts and solution, face cream–my god

how did the bathroom become this sargasso of flammable liquids and gels?

Can I even get this zipped? –Alarm clock crammed inside your sneaker

and you are done.


All that’s left is the drive to the airport, those last moments when

you ride through your city of origin in a kind of relief,

if you’ve forgotten something,

it’s too late to do anything about it–here it is, the moment you let go

of everything behind you and put your heart forward,

confident in the knowledge

no matter what you’re facing

you have eight pairs of underwear

you can wash and beat on a rock ‘til the end of days.


–Arlitia Jones

Dec. 2, 2013

4 Comments on “50 lbs or less

  1. This mind meld of the packing day has filled me with a (somewhat tortured) grin of collaboration. Eight is enough for anything.


    • I’m using your formula! And so we endeavor to persevere! I can make it through because I know you’re making it through! 🙂 See you in a few!


  2. This is great ! I go through this every time. Fingernail polish in the socks? I took the TSA test and they look for stuff like that! Alarm clock? No way. I have a phone with alarm


  3. Only Arlitia Jones can make something this fine from packing a suitcase! (And I am going to thieve her idea about the alarm clock in the tennis shoe!) XO Anne


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