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There are things
like listening to your heart
or giving a relationship
everything you’ve got
that you know how to do
only in the beginning
that you no longer know
how to do towards the end,
after you’ve exposed
your soul to life and
let it empty its
difficult lessons on you
and all the baggage with
all its flags
takes the place of what
you used to know,

everything is new
that I’ve done
a million times before

as I face my reflection
in the mirror
twenty-eight years familiar
and prepare to make myself
beautiful as deeply as
my deepest love will let me,
step out into the night
and entrust my bejeweled spirit
with graceful feet and no fear
on a white cab whose intentions
are camouflaged in traffic under
a polished black November sky
the night city flowing around me
like a phosphorescent tide
headed towards a destiny
that I’ve never seen
but always believed in
and never forgotten once
in the distance
from child to woman

way past what it would
take for someone else,
if it were someone else,
to get too old
to not know better,
beyond all chances for
a relapse into innocence,
I knew what to do
when the fairy tale
came knocking on my door,
as if,
if all the world’s a stage
this is the performance
I’ve faithfully attended
all the bad rehearsals for

“Transcendence” by photographer Edwin Setiawan


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