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I walk down the familiar streets
waiting for an unfamiliar feeling.

A restaurant I loved from
the other side of town
moved here,
and reinstated in the menu
my favorite dish that
they had stopped serving
years ago.
I remember that it broke my heart.

You wait,
you wait
for me on the other side of the world

while I trace a daily pattern
across the same cities
along the same highways
where fashion billboards change
every season
more punctually than the trees
and buildings in construction
get a little bit more finished each day

while I am the same.
Same girl waiting but not waiting
to leave this place
not because I am miserable here,
but because my future is with you.

It feels like circles,
the commute from home to work and back,
with short stops at the old bookstore
or some café to write,
but the sky is different each day.
Same girl waiting and not waiting
for my passport to be stamped
with freedom to be where you are.

Until then I am stuck here,
a rare bird that’s been told
it’s not yet time to fly,
these sleepy streets
and the ever-changing sky
my cage,
with virgin oceanfronts as its bars.

But my beautiful prison
is not a prison,
but home
to the part of me
that was once at home
in redemptive self-love
and solitude,
the part that had a plan
of what to do
and how to live
in case I never met you.

There’s enough here to love, still.

“Streets of Amsterdam” by photographer Oliver Astrologo


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