Certain days, it
feels more real
than others.

Sudden understanding,
moments like a
wallet filled with
a finite number
of bills.

Curiosity asking:
“Just what will
I miss most?”

Young adults
everywhere wondering
what it takes: to
enjoy a job or to do
a job to enjoy life?

Intense but brief
relationships offer a
certain pattern–
patterns become the only
long-term investment.

Curiosity asking:
“Is there a moment
when you finally
feel adult?”

Turned off by the
idea of ‘waiting’
for damn near

Minds plugged into
computers, envious
of the coffeeshoppers
tapping feet to music,

Possibly reading,
researching, reflecting–
something personal
to gain.

Stretching ‘breaktime’
like a theraband.
Who’s watching?

Kiwi awnings at, I
admit, my favorite

Certain fondness,
a certain unknowing–
“What will I miss most?”

Never underestimate
the gravitational pull
of the place where
you gained financial

Also: where you
curated a fine group
of ‘adult’ friends.

Even when it feels
real, this hawk-shadow
of swooping change,
I can’t deny my
giddy disposition:

Us, hand in hand,
walking confidently
into the sunlit unknown.


Written on February 11, 2014…shortly after Brenton & I decided we would quit our jobs and relocate from Philadelphia to Seattle. We made the move on June 23, 2014.




When Angie comes around,
I know it’s almost time to leave.

She crinkles her nose at me
when I’ve got fifty tabs open
in a browser, while she shimmies
behind my chair to collect
my plastic bag of paper & lemon peels.

Go home, she insists playfully with a gesture
at an invisible watch on her wrist.

She shows me pictures from her
native land with a longing I admire.
Live to work here, she says, No
way to live.

Angie sees everything, knows everything.
Quiet observer, kindest heart.

Today, I told her that I’m leaving.
No, she said. And then she said it again.

And then: I won’t see you anymore?
She sighed & kissed me on the forehead.


Finally, peppermint crisp,
the sky is cotton-white
with a speck of platinum
light nested above
the Walgreens.

I must know every
detail of this intersection.

Wind plays with the ends
of my hair in teasing waves.

People mill about.
Cafe workers have
confusing relationships
at the table next to me.

Two cyclists with touring
bikes and fat saddle bags
go up and down the street, lost.


There was a time
in school when
we made little
bridges entirely
of toothpicks
and glue

Some kind of rite
of passage, the
rudimentary sketching
out of engineering,
new senses of space
and time

With a week’s worth
of shifted focus,
here comes my
new contribution
to the soundness
of my own structured

How the entire tapestry
of the day is
rendered differently
when there is
fatigue settling
on the corners
of the cheeks
and eyes


Musical accompaniment by Joe Brooker. Many thanks, faraway friend.


The rooftops in Queen Village, Philadelphia.

[ Read the original poem here. ]