I find it utterly unacceptable that I have lived in this city for three years and three months without spending any time lounging on a rooftop with a flask and a sky full of lights.
Wanted: a remedy for this plight.
Answer quick or all is lost.
For so long I had been looking hard into every person I met, hoping I might discover in them all the thoughts and feelings I hoped life would give me, but hadn’t. There are some people who say you have to find such things in yourself, that you cannot count on anyone to supply even the smallest crumb your life lacks.
Although I knew this might be true, it didn’t prevent me from looking anyway. Who cares what people say? What people say has no effect on your heart.”
To think of gratitude and to think of thank you cards
instead, the small panic of them, the pressure
to buy the ones with black and white Parisian photograph
covers and the blank insides, ready for your profound message,
you writer, you beautiful liar; you are supposed to be good at this.
So you write, Thank you for the flowers. I don’t know
what to call them, but they are pink and I plan
on taking them to bed with me in your absence. You write,
Thank you for the reminder you’re eight hundred miles away.
You draw pictures of hot air balloons and trolley cars and
inaccurate maps of the United States with dash dashed arrow
routes that point from one stick person holding flowers
to another stick person empty handed.
And when it is too hard to be thankful for anything
other than the fact that at least the two of you aren’t dead yet,
you call, despite the time zone difference and impossible hour,
to say, Walk west so that I can hear your footsteps better.
I say that I love you, and maybe I do, but it will always pale in comparison to the aching, complex, ultimately rewarding love I have for myself. Over the past 20-something years, I have learned to grow comfortable with myself. There are parts of me I would change, but overall, I think that I’m a good person. I touch myself with care. I forgive myself. So many people who have claimed to love me have not afforded me the same courtesy. It’s not that I’m skeptical, it’s just that I’d rather depend on myself when it comes to affirming that I am a good person.
You are nice, but I don’t need your compliments.”