For J:

Here’s to waiting for things to happen, and actually enjoying the stillness and the anxiety there is in letting time pass us by without knowing exactly if it’s worth it. Here’s to countless afternoons of walking alone, noticing the edges of leaves that we will then liken to fire, noticing how blue the sky becomes when all the clouds have sailed away, to some place where there are lovers walking hand in hand to rain upon, where there are couples who would share an umbrella at the first sight of a drizzle.

Here’s to writing verses in our minds and thinking how beautiful words are, like ominous, imminent, and ridiculous, and realizing how they are as much painful, once they are put on paper. Here’s to feeling the need to escape. Here’s to understanding, inevitably, who we are, in one serendipitous moment, like tying a shoelace, or scraping a knee, or singing a line out of some long-forgotten song, short of wallowing in pain.

Here’s to feeling awkward and out of place. Here’s to the melancholy of choice.

And always, here’s to love: we are learning, still.

Out to Play
Brian Andreas

No hurt survives
for long without
our help, she said

and then she kissed
me and sent me out
to play again
for the rest
of my life.