This is a poem for the duck in the water who thought I might have some bread and circled around giddily as I watched the sun set over water so still it looked fraudulent, a corny special effect you laugh about in a dated movie.
This is a poem for the girls walking in front of me on the path on the way home. Who were snapchatting themselves walking and dancing in the dusk and I was proud of them that they could be so happy.
This is a poem for that morning when I felt the sun on my arms and it was hot for the first time. I heard that when you give birth an epidural doesn’t make the pain go away, it just makes you forget about it after it’s all done. The heat on my skin had that effect, everything about that long, dark winter seemed fictional, a story that happened to somebody else and I just heard it in passing.
This is a poem for the summer nights I am anticipating where I will drive home in the dark, north on 35w and ascend a small hill and the entire Minneapolis skyline comes into view and I will think about all the people who are living in all those buildings. Each of them is just trying to be a person. We are all just trying. We are all just climbing each hill with whatever tools we are given.
This is a poem for the Hennepin Lyndale exit, the muscle memory of making that specific turn, the way I could leave this town for decades and come back and still turn unconsciously, as if I never stopped.
This is a poem for the smell of a fire or a barbecue or the low conversations that mean people are outside together. Sometimes these things make me happy when they float through the open windows of my apartment, and sometimes they make me feel left out. Summer in the city is full of people performing happiness in front of you, it makes me miss those winter nights when it is so clear that we are all just trying to do what we need to do so that we can wake up the next day and go on.