once my parents let me travel alone in new york city.
at 15, i rode on one of those rental bikes,
travelling north of midtown.
i don't remember the date -
somewhere near christmas eve.
i sat down at the steps of the public library.
it was closed.
that morning i wrote a poem
about a homeless man playing chess by himself.
before that, i was in japan.
i did not want to be there,
because no one ever spoke to me.
the bus ride in kyoto is one i still remember.
the english teacher asked me why i was crying,
i saw when some of the girls blamed it on themselves.
it was nothing personal, we were young we didn't know how to deal with ourselves i laugh about that now.
whispers on her tongue,
she will never forget what she didn't tell me in
that morning i wrote a poem,
about the grandfather who walked with me onto the highway.
the following year i went to france.
i met a girl there.
she taught me how to watch children dance in nice,
when we had 30 minutes, we always took 45.
once we ran, without paying for our chocolate milk.
i still left a 10 euro tip.
i dont think she still remembers.
i felt so reckless then.
she heard me when no one else did,
she films me busk near the alleyway.
this is where an old man approaches me, asking me
do you sing janisjoplin?
the thing is,
i used to be scared of them reading my poetry,
in case they thought it was about them.
now i hope they taste every word, like sour patch kids
like a trip home from woolies.
because i have grown from these people,
even if i blame them for it.
the rays of sunlight will forever hit me
like the molten core of marshmellows,
watch the sun fall onto their skin
like the freckles, they spend so much time tanning to count,
do they not know their kindness has been enough?