For exactly who I am

There’s something about the peace of writing down my thoughts, shifting words, deleting lines, arranging the language in a way that matches the contours and impressions of my thoughts and feelings, giving them the most accurate shape possible, molding them in the most respectful likeness.

Something I’ve never been able to find in the more urgent instance of a face-to-face conversation— words bubble up, sentiments flow out,      escaping just beyond my fingertips, before I’ve had a chance to consider if they’re what I really mean.

Later in the quiet din of my obsessive mind, I reel over the mislaid impressions, the things said that didn’t hit right, that I wish I could restructure, lay down


   by brick

until I get them right.

A psychologist would probably have a name for this kind of thinking, have a word that signifies its pathology, maybe it comes down to the desire to be in control, to want even the effervescent babble of a conversation to conform to my wishes.

But I think it has more to do with where I feel at home. Which waters are most conducive for swimming.

Like now, with my espresso and a laptop before me, no sounds but the typing of my fingers and the whoosh of cars outside in the bright promise of morning,

here is where I can backstroke freely, without worrying if I’m about to hit a wall or run into the person in the lane next to me.

My sentiments can be expressed, my meaning, hopefully, conveyed clearly.

And if not, I have time to pause


think it over


to be careful with these words,

these constructions that actually

only exist in this shared conspiracy

of our minds.


I can be here with you

and feel your presence

without the pretext of chit chat

or the labor of small talk,


I trust you will hear me above the noise

I trust my words will land where they land,

and you will handle them with care,

think about them for awhile maybe,

and maybe,

understand them,

understand me,

for exactly who I am.

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