There’s a woman I love in Brooklyn. There’s a woman I love in Maine, and I’m in love with sweatshirt weather, stained glass, the moment after waking, when I am a secret, shopping malls, a town I grew up in, not getting everything I asked for, wanting more. I’m in love with my friends’ tattoos, their elephants and cursive, and I’m in love with orchids, glossy magazines, Q-Tips, showering after a bonfire. I’m in love with my ex-girlfriend, her crooked teeth, how she wants to be better but doesn’t know how, the ways we are the same. I’m in love with the thick white paper of this notebook, waking up with the city, the delivery drivers, the hostess sweeping the sidewalk, the burnt coffee and hot chicken in my hands because there are people to feed and it’s my job to feed them. I’m in love with skateboarders; they are men who can fly. I’m in love with the hands that trim my beard, the hands of another. I’m in love with sticking a finger down my throat and coughing to say no, no, I am alive. I’m in love with eating lobster, that violent Christmas. I’m in love with the dreams I can remember, kissing a former roommate as our apartment floods with rain. I want to call her. I’m in love with dancing, rocking my limbs like a tree come to live in a Disney movie. I’m in love with throwing heavy shiny things like trash cans and bricks under Frank Stanford’s moon. I’m in love with my father. I’m in love with the father my father never knew, the father who ran away. I’m in love with Chloe Caldwell, Major Jackson, Kent Russell, Maggie Nelson, A.M. Homes. I’m in love with everyone and all at once. Oh sadness, I love you, too. I love you because I am never alone. I love you, sunflower seeds. I love you, Thanksgiving. I love you, momma! I want to make you proud.

David Bersell