love-list letter to my hometown

sky for parchment, wind for pen-

love-list letter flung over this town-

let it rain.

How I fell in love with these streets and this dirt and this salt-wet air, again, even as I’m saying good-bye, even as I’m going Away.

Heavy grey mist in my hair, smelling like Autumn, smelling like Downfall, smelling like Earth and Water- despite the flow of cars and dog-walkers and red-and-gold city lights-

all this cement and naked broom-trees and dirty piles of silver-glazed snow-

I’m in love,

with the music in my earphones, and Tide detergent, and blurred smudge of moon and Timberlands and-

I wish I told the boy from the B train, with the worn-brown boots, that his eyes reminded me of the swell of marsh before the rain-

I wish I told the young woman with her floppy hair and pointed elfin face that she’s beautiful, that she reminds me of Paris’s sloped cobblestone streets smelling of cinnamon and leather and old paints…

I wish I could gather all the loves and likes and thank-yous- all this beauty, fierce and wild in its Being, wish I could gather All This into candy-sized magic, and cast it raining down on New York City, so that

Everyone can know, bone-sure and soul-deep, that despite it all, there is something Vaster and Better to fight for-

and that I don’t care what you think about God or Donald Trump or classic rock music-

that I just want you to believe you can be like the Tin-man, that there’s a hot fist-sized heart beneath the rusted metal, and it Burns-

Burns like the sun and the stars that live and crash and die in some kind of mysterious and unhindered glory-

Burns like my Want to give you the will to hold your life, hold it like a face between the palms, and tell it I love you.

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1 Comment

  1. That turn in the poem caught me by surprise and took my breath away, right through that gorgeous, gorgeous last line: “to hold your life, hold it like a face between the palms, and tell it I love you.” Sigh…

    I know the feeling of “I wish I told” too well – especially because I know how good it feels when strangers on the streets and the train compliment my hair, scarf, coat, etc. Maybe I should add that to 2018’s resolutions: tell strangers about the little things about them that make my day better and more full of beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

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