Adjacent

The walls of my apartment are thin.

Of course they are–it’s an apartment.

I hear muffled laughter, the amateur plucking

of an acoustic guitar.

How strange to hear strangers’ lives

swell around me

as I sit silent in my soft-lit room.

Our separate lives, shoved close,

adjacent but never intersecting.

NPM: The Fire’s Heart

Far under the cracked and dying earth

the molten fire had given birth:

a thing of light, almost too bright

it sparked with joy and mirth

 

The fire’s child pushed up through rock and sand

and climbed toward the surface land

The darkness deep, it could not keep

the bright fire child within its hand

 

The child broke into the open air

expecting worlds both rich and fair

Its laughter bright, filled with delight

rang out, fell soft, grew silent in despair

 

A shadow of the glory days of old

A ruined waste none had foretold

The fire child’s glow was dimming low

Its warmth did wane, its heart grew cold

 

There still remains upon that barren ground

the crater where the child was found

and all alone, a glassy stone:

the fire’s heart at last unbound

Little Things

Years ago, I made the conscious decision to feel free to sing out loud in my car without worrying about if people were watching me.  I love singing in my car.  Sure, it is embarrassing to look over at a stoplight and realize that someone is watching you (and probably laughing), but life is way too short to worry about what some random stranger thinks of you.  Sing in your car!  Have fun!  And smile really big at the person who is laughing at you.  They’ll either be amused along with you, or just get confused.

Let Go, Hold On

The music of Ingrid Michaelson hums through my headphones, laced with the occasional whirr of the coffee grinder.  I am surrounded by friends, strangers, strangers that I wish were friends.  The cushions on this bench do practically nothing, and I am uncomfortable, but I stay here for hours.  I don’t want to leave, because even though I’m alone, I’m with them.  Hearing the overlapping voices, the intertwined conversations, the laughter peppered throughout.  I will miss this place.  I’ve decided to start saying my goodbyes now.  One goodbye a day, for the rest of this time I have here on this dot of the map that I’ve come to love so much.  Today, I say goodbye to the Student Union, with its ridiculous temperature fluctuations, its eclectic outdated architecture, its lack of sufficient space.  It has become the hub of my graduate school life.  I come here to work, to talk, to eat, to write.  I love running into people here, and enjoying unexpected fellowship instead of working like I “should.”  But really, this is what I should be doing…soaking up every minute with these beautiful, crazy people.  The clock is ticking, and I feel its hands pushing on my back, forcing me forward second by second toward a future that is still blurry, out of focus.  This moment, right here on the bench in the Union, however, is crystal clear and perfect.  And for now, it’s all mine.

 

Laugh

Notre Dame, Paris, FranceI laugh now, all the time

I laugh and hide and laugh out loud

Then stop and wonder why I do it

I remember kneeling in the still stark beauty of the cathedral

and I didn’t laugh then

but my soul laughed

with resounding, glorious, heaven-scented vigor

And tears made silver tracks down my cheeks

While the burning incense made clouds to hide the face of God