September 24th, 2006
I am missing the way things used to be. How familiar the doors were, the pink tins in the kitchen: one for flour, sugar, and tea. There was rot on the street and familiar pathways to get supplies that kept us warm and fed. There is a piece of me in Kansas, where the wheat fields glow like embers, where I learned to ride a bike and say hello, where my father lives. I have spread like seed across the world; bits of me carried by warm spring air, pieces of me swept up in straights and currents. At times I will remember myself riding horseback with the scent of ragweed and hay rising like bread in the Oklahoma summer. I will remember what I loved then, which smiling faces made my heart turn, taught me how to color the rainbow. I feel the tug of New York as strong as the pull to have children, to love, and to make peace. It is my tall buildings, my anonymity, my dirty streets, my fit in the puzzle. At 653 9th Avenue you will see where my dreams changed, where my ideas about the world shifted, a piece of me. There is distance now between the Pacific and the Atlantic, the beaches of Seward Park and the beaches of Guilford that did not exist before. I have been to both, have left dimples in the sand and dropped bits of me like a trail that leads to a nowhere home, the place that I live. I remember you for your laughter, for your kind heart, for your generosity, for your love. I remember you for your gunshots, for the trash on your streets, and your long winters. And I will remember which piece of me you have tucked behind ivory walls, behind sisterhood. It is the one that is simple and sweet and true. The one that is pure and will continue to burn years from now, when I am gray and you are here, a century after I learned how to say hello and color the rainbow.
I can see the Cascades from here, already with snow-capped tops. There is the blue curtain that I know, bought at Ikea five years ago, when I lived here last. Home will grow with time, when the pink tins are placed in a new kitchen, with new paint. I will build new pieces of me here and store memories in the cupboard like stewed tomatoes and pickled cucumbers from the garden. Summer will come again, pathways will be found, and pieces of me will lay tucked in tree stumps, in wheat fields, in dirty streets, in tall buildings, in you, all across the earth.