paper town lover

Prompt from a temporary therapist: Write about the silliest something that you use to bully yourself. Then write about how you let it go.

One day a person
who loves me,
loves-me-loves-me, will


to have a photo of us

(Just because
it’s never happened
doesn’t mean
it can’t. (Just because
it’s never happened
doesn’t mean
I am a place only real enough
for a name and naught
else. (See Paper Towns. (See how
they still have a place
in print.))

I don’t know
how to write a shame-faced
full-flavored sad,
or even how to hold it
for more than a blink,
but I can pin-prick myself with
its tiny blade
a thousand times.

Today I will learn a new trick.

I will learn
to let it go.

I will fill a balloon
with breath-hitch.
Fill it with the poems they
have written about me,
the paintings of my resting
form, the Christmas trees
they didn’t want but placed the
star upon,
and the angels always on hand
when I fall.

This is a balloon that cannot
be needled, bright bold
beautiful, a yellow they see
in this life and the afterlife
that reminds them of me.

I know they think of me
and clearly.
None were the type to


a snap or a map
and never have.

I like a mind
that knows the way,
and remembers
where it has been.

And I like the idea of this
immortal balloon,
this roadside attraction,
something so
a photo wouldn’t
do it justice anyway.

April 12, 2022Life Notes

I’m still waiting to find a new therapist. Mine is retiring soon and I feel like I want to have a head start with a new person because there’s still so much to work through. It feels like starting over and I’m trying to not let that get to me. I am, after all, an expert in starting over.

I liked that this one gave me a prompt, though I’m sure she didn’t comprehend that I would be pasting it all over the internet. There is a bucket of deep sads that I steep in on occasion and a few pesky flies that buzz in my ears when I am there. They are sounds I never hear normally, even when I am in a shallow sad, but they can be piercingly loud when they exist.

All that to say, for those who knew Dave: I know he didn’t like photos for other reasons. The ones I’ve loved have all had similar reasons that have had absolutely nothing to do with me. I always get a few photos anyway. It’s just something I think when I am bullying myself, but now we’ve let it go and instead have a poem that accomplishes a goal, and this lovely metaphorical balloon.

Isn’t it a delightful color?

7 thoughts on “paper town lover

  1. The color is delightful, and so are you. I wonder if those pesky flies might turn into birdsongs; I hope that they do for you.


  2. Hello! It’s been a while again. Hugs to you from a fellow bucket of deep sads steeper.

    Finding a new therapist is a nightmare. I still haven’t found one either, not that I’ve really tried…



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