to make her wise
to make her love
to make her fearless
to make her wise
to make her love
to make her fearless
are the hands
that lay idle
the gaze, in awe of beauty,
does not w.a.n.d.e.r
the heart, free of pain,
Does not /a c h e/
there is life
there is living
and in it, they find
in the silence,
my fingers twitch.
here I sit,
taking inventory of
a card that gives me license
to drink and to drive
(but not together),
another that gives me credit,
pictures of her,
and tickets to a show
that won’t go on.
a bachelor’s degree-worth
of knowledge I rarely use,
how to drive a car,
and memories of what
life used to be.
the most beautiful little girl,
the kind of friends
you only hear about,
a family that dulls others
and a stubborn refusal to give up
on the idea that
will always win.
Be careful with your words, my dear
Be careful with your sighs
Be careful with confessions,
omissions and your lies
Be conscious of your promises
Your encouragements and s m i l e s,
Be wary of the kindness
That is hurting all the while
Take caution with your lips, my dear
Your truths are full of dust
From the disuse of a month, a year-
And I’m all out of t.r.u.s.t.
Your foolish words are empty, dear
You know this to be true
And if you do not take more care
They’ll all catch on to you
Have you ever
heard a heart
The way its rhythm
t.a.p.s. out a tune
has [captured] me –
And I think
if ALL I heard
was that music,
I could live
– content –
for the rest of my years,
t.a.p.p.i.n.g. to the beat
of her heart
A blue-eyed lad with Scottish charm
Pint in hand, held out his arm
I thought “well, it’ll do no harm”
(That’s how these things start)
A blonde-haired English boy
smiled and laughed, rather coy
I smiled back, full of joy
(Although we had to part)
I wandered from home, far away
Forgot my life just for a day
And said all that I could say
(Except what was in my heart)
the great joy
“The heart was made to be broken.” -Oscar Wilde
That guy from your art class. The girl who comes in every day for her coffee order. Go ahead.
The guy you met yesterday. That girl you’ve known your whole life. Go ahead.
Go ahead- start the conversation. Compliment their shirt, tell them their hair looks nice. Commiserate about the morning commute. Laugh.
Go ahead- make plans. See a movie, get dinner, have coffee, hang out. Get to really know each other. Be surprised by the things you both like, and don’t. Look forward to them. Have fun. Be happy.
Go ahead- fall harder than you intended. Be afraid, but do it anyway. Become incredibly and irrevocably important to each other. Share things you don’t share with many (or any) other people. Connect. Understand. Grow.
Go ahead- get comfortable. Memorize their pizza order and their favorite beer. Get addicted to their tv shows. Steal their Netflix password. Become genuine friends with their friends and learn to love those people as much as they do. Quit censoring yourself around them. Expect them there for the important and unimportant stuff.
Go ahead- fight. Get (a little) jealous when you’re supposed to. Be upset when they’re not paying attention or giving back. Call them out on their bullshit. Let them do the same for yours. Learn when to let it slide, and when you shouldn’t. And when you can’t.
Go ahead- try. Make the effort to keep it together, with everything you have. Do nice things for each other, and check yourself when you’re getting overly annoyed at the small stuff. Revisit the early times and the old jokes, the things that bonded you together. Take a deep breath.
Go ahead- admit it isn’t working. Talk it over with your friends, but make sure you make the decision yourself. Sit on it for a few days. Really think about what it means. Man/woman up, and choose.
Go ahead- break their heart. Recognize that if you’re in it for any reason other than love, you’re not doing them any favors. Loyalty, pity, fear of loss, jealousy- understand that these are not reasons to stay with them. Be honest. Don’t tell them you can still be friends if you can’t (hint: you probably can’t). Hold them when they cry, and leave when you have to.
Go ahead- miss them. Miss them even though you don’t think you have a right to. Don’t get mad when you see that they’re okay- you knew they would be eventually. Know that letting them go was the best thing you could have done for them and that someday, when they find out what you two were lacking, they’ll know it too.
Go ahead- try again. Learn from the last one. Don’t forget a single feeling, but don’t be too afraid when you feel it all again. Don’t feel guilty if it’s been three years, or three months, and don’t let that be the thing that stops you. If it seems worth it, give it a shot.
Go ahead. Life is for living- if you do it right, it’s gonna hurt. It’ll surprise you and knock you on your ass and make you indescribably happy and miserable. And if you do it right, it’ll be worth it.
So go ahead- text her. Screw that, give her a call. Tell him he’s funny. Agree to a date, and give it a whirl. You might end up never seeing her again. You might end up having to break his heart. But you might not.
“At last I know where I’m going, where I’ve always been going. Home. The long way round.” -The Eleventh Doctor
They say home is where the heart is. Where’s your heart?
Part of mine’s in Connecticut, in the suburb where I grew up and the city that saw my high school years and my first job. On the streets where I learned how to drive and ride my bike, on the front steps where I took pictures for prom.
Part, a large part, will always be in New Rochelle, on the college campus that saw me grow more than I ever expected to. In the dorm rooms and apartments where I made real, lasting friendships and discovered more pieces of who I am, and who I hope to be.
Part is in New York City, which is still one of my favorite places in the world even after the annoying commuter grind and the bombardment of strange sights and smells. There is something about that skyline and the hallowed halls of the Met that I will never, ever tire of.
Part is undoubtedly in Italy, left in bits and pieces in Rome, Orvieto and Florence. I threw it in the canals of Venice and gave it gladly to Assisi and Sorrento.
Another part sits in Regent’s Park and travels throughout London on a whim. It visits the pub around the block from my study abroad dorm and takes frequent trips to the Globe, lingering by the Thames.
I left pieces in the voodoo shop in New Orleans where I had my Tarot cards read and at Navy Pier in Chicago. It’s in Cape Cod, on the only beach I care to visit there, with some of the best memories and the best people I’ve ever known. It’s in Brooklyn somewhere near 86th street.
It’s scattered along the east coast. It was forgotten on a variety of planes and trains and was left in the backseat of a mess of cabs and friends’ cars. It’s in a bunch of books and poems, with fictional people in imaginary places.
It’s with everyone I’ve ever loved, wherever we were and wherever they go. It’s with you, reading this, whoever you are.
Home is all of those places, and none of them. It’s wherever I’ve been and wherever I’m going. Home is everywhere, and it’s a beautiful place to be.