I’ve found myself swirling my pen into hearts and curlicues, lately. Lingering a little longer at the end of gatherings when a certain someone is there. The mural must have worked some unexpected magic, its heart’s rays more potent than I imagined for one has pierced me in a cobwebbed place—a place I have not visited since perhaps when I twirled out in a green cheerleader skirt to kiss Terry Glover, the star basketball player, amid hoots from the 9th grade student body. This was a time when Kelsey Glover was written on the rubber soles of my floral Chuck Taylors to be secretly enjoyed until worn away with time. But I am not 14 anymore.

The impracticality of this longing leaves me with no choice but to use it as fuel. So I walk a little longer, read a little more and find lines of prose delivered to me by cats sitting nonchalantly in the middle of neighborhood streets, caresses of lambs ear, and neighbors whose nods and smiles remind me that I too must be smiling.

A poem from this place:

A tenderness arrived on my doorstep wrapped in gold and turquoise ribbon
So beautiful and carefully constructed, I dared not unloop its bows
I placed it on the kitchen counter, which is where it sits now
Bringing a tiny smile when I spot it as I move about my day

Sometimes I sit in front of the box, shake it, and try to possess it
Other times it shakes me from a deep sleep just so I remember it’s here
Don’t worry, I say. I know.
Then I gently pick it up, but am overcome with its weight
What do you contain, I wonder?
The possibilities wrap me in softness
For wouldn’t everything be better with you?

Like the discovery of the birthplace of butterflies
All flitting, and basking about in the morning sun
Among the passion fruit vines
And yesterday’s ripening garbage


The black dog wedged tightly underneath his fence to soak in warmth
Carefully tilting his head, nose dancing to catch my scent
He received my touch without fear
And I knew he knew love