• the gift of a lovely new teapot
• getting to see my sister and her family for Christmas
• the clarity that a single word can bring when it's the descriptor you need
• being able to pay this month's credit card bill
• growing older
"I don’t write poetry when I wish, I write when I can’t, when my larynx is flooded and my throat is shut."Lately I spend too much of the night chasing myself in panicky laps around the inside of my head. The idea of opening my journal frustrates me for some reason on such nights, so when I'm fed up with lying in bed I rise and fill loose pages with the things that I can't yet make my peace with, and pretend they're going somewhere in the mail, perhaps to my freshman-year roommate's mailbox in Massachusetts. I don't know, maybe they are.
– Anna Kamienska
So I'm back in the U.S.
When I went through customs, the officer who took my declaration form and passport said to me, "Your accent has changed."
Yes. My California accent had softened into something less conspicuous. Fewer rhotics, tidier vowels. I have a good ear and I'm suggestible in that way. (In addition to not liking to be involuntarily conspicuous. Oh, I felt so self-conscious the first couple weeks whenever I had to speak to a cashier or bus driver...)
I wanted to cry when he said that. I don't want to lose this; I don't want to lose any of it. I want to hold these last three months and know that I can keep them, can keep who I was there and how I felt and what I saw and knew, and I'm not sure yet how else to do that but on my tongue.