Birds of America

From up here, I can see you but you can’t see me. You can’t see the hunch in my back, don’t see me struggle with the straightening of it. Hold hold hold hold

You don’t see me pull at the ends of my hair, opening my palm to let the breeze replant the loose strands. You can’t see the title of the book I’m reading. The words lighting up my brain like tiny pinpricks. Like stars turning on in the night. 

“It is not news that we live in a world Where beauty is unexplainable And suddenly ruined And has its own routines. We are often far From home in a dark town, and our griefs Are difficult to translate into a language Understood by others.”

I loved you because you made me feel understood. Without any reference points, without a dictionary, without context clues, without asking for my words, you understood. Like you can read the path across the creek bed, you understood. You laughed at my jokes before I had decided to tell one. You somehow carried the balance, walked the line of understanding my need for space and my need for words. You didn’t pull at me and you didn’t push at me and you didn’t hold me off. I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing, but even that you didn’t mind. And it strikes me at the most random of moments. As I am making copies or as I am sitting under a tree. I am struck by the wonder of it–that you even exist. That this world so full of people also has room for you. 

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