I have a pit in my stomach, but I’m afraid to tell you about it. Feeling needy scares me, and maybe it’s something I should swallow with milk. I’m going through this alone. Holding the worry in my stomach, in my shoulders, in my womb. I’m frightened of dying alone. I’m afraid my life won’t be as colorful as I imagined it.
With fears about my future, I hang onto the good I can now, hoping it will be enough. Sustenance. I get high off ideas I write on napkins, thin lines in my red notebook. I satiate on the idea of these ideas. The sweet voice of a friend on my voicemail, when Linus rests his little head in my hand, Natalie Merchant.
I missed you so much today; I could feel it in my wrinkles, smell it in my pillows, and taste it in my tears. When it’s safe, I’ll give you this. I’ll use ribbon and save it for when you believe in us. So you won’t get frustrated and yell that you give up, you won’t wonder if you make me happy. You will stop making me afraid to be sad near you. You’ll let me be me, tears and all. By then, you’ll have the answer on you. You’ll carry the yes in your pocket with your keys. And, I hope you don’t drop it. Because yes, you do make me happy. Yes to it all. My love for you is profound and as real as the earth.
Nothing has changed, though now our earth is so separate. My love for you runs thick like the water covering it.
* * *
For my first time since middle school, I visited the New York Public Library. I didn’t know where I was going; I just went. Up all those courtly stairs into a museum on Russia? Man, what is this? "Where is the library?" The guard tells me to take the elevator to 3. Ah, okay. On 3, I ask a sack of a woman at the information desk for a card. "No dear, this is research, the real library is across the street." So let me get this straight. You can’t take out any books at the New York Public Library? Yeah, the one with the Lions and the stairs. It’s monumental, and you can only leave with flimsy pamphlets about how to borrow books from across the street. What a sham.
So, I went to the Manhattan Library as instructed. I read a little Pablo Neruda. I like his ode to socks. I still prefer Ms. Olds. Anyway, I’ve got to hop to class now. I’m kinda mortified about what I submitted. Oh well. Work in progress. Work in progress… aren’t we all. I should walk around with an orange sign, “under construction.”