There’s a boy who lives in Chicago,
his smile quick, the words roll off his tongue,
but the two hour flight might as well be
the Milky Way, stardust, streaking
the space between us, a layover
that could never be my destination.
On days I feel bold, I read him the speech
from the crumpled up paper in my pocket,
my nerves rustling like the page in my hand.
If only I could put words to feelings
unaccustomed to rattling inside my mind.
Do you ever have those days
where every moment feels like a last
chance, like if you don’t act
you’ll never find your way back
here, to this place, dreams intact,
Do you ever feel like that?
Do you let it pass by anyway?
Watch the world spin around you
then away from you, out of your grasp,
as you stand still and then step back?
How many times can you
slip sand between your fingers,
pass hours like tumbleweeds,
scatter minutes like dandelions to the wind.
Measure time by the space you can’t fill,
by the seconds you can hold your breath.
But time, it dulls edges,
carves memories like river canyons,
like sea glass after years in a storm,
give me enough time and I’ll forget the punchline,
convinced that things that matter float by
like summer pollen, this too, shall pass.
There’s a girl who lives in New York City,
her eyes bright, the words always on the tip of her tongue.
Someday she’ll read a speech to a boy
about all the reasons they should be together
despite all the ones they shouldn’t, someday
she’ll learn to ask for more than she thinks she deserves,
that independence is not a price you pay for loving fiercely,
and vulnerability is not the opposite of strength, someday
she’ll stop waiting for the answer to a question she never asked.
But patience is a virtue, and I’ve still got time.
Originally written as spoken word.