Today, I remembered how watching you open a book made me feel content and safe. I didn’t tell you this because I didn’t want to sound trite and because I have enough people whom I love who don’t read a thing (and it’s never mattered). Those were early days – and I wondered (even back then) if the gesture stayed with me because I liked you so much, or because it truly meant something in itself. And so I didn’t allow myself to even fully acknowledge the extent to which it made me happy; I was too scared to. I was afraid that I would hold on to this too tightly and even in that moment, I didn’t want to reduce you to a snapshot whose edges I vignetted.

All I am ever trying to say is the same wretched thing, without actually saying it. Not doing a very good job at the moment.

Naomi Shihab Nye

These shriveled seeds we plant,
corn kernel, dried bean,
poke into loosened soil,
cover over with measured fingertips

These T-shirts we fold into
perfect white squares

These tortillas we slice and fry to crisp strips
This rich egg scrambled in a gray clay bowl

This bed whose covers I straighten
smoothing edges till blue quilt fits brown blanket
and nothing hangs out

This envelope I address
so the name balances like a cloud
in the center of sky

This page I type and retype
This table I dust till the scarred wood shines
This bundle of clothes I wash and hang and wash again
like flags we share, a country so close
no one needs to name it

The days are nouns: touch them
The hands are churches that worship the world