I am one to pay for experiences over objects.
I collect moments like key chains and hang
them off my purse, by my side at all times.
But sometimes I cringe at how much I pay for
poetry books. Even fifteen dollars. Am I doing
this to support local bookstores? I’ve gotten a
turtleneck for eleven dollars that I wear as a
staple layering piece every week in fall and winter.
I trace my fingers over the cover of my favorite
book and am absorbed into its world. Suddenly, I
am in a theatre, eyes wide and watery as the love
of the lead actress walks away. Suddenly, my heart
is gutted, as I am standing in the very house where
family turned into a hollow ghost, holding no meaning
other than a cluster of letters. Suddenly, I am in
a coffee shop, the sound of popping fingers ringing
in my ears as the performer bears all passion and
vulnerability through the art of spoken word.
Suddenly, I am in classroom, being taught and
inspired how to better my own writing. Suddenly.
I am by my desk. Sunlight trickling in through the
blinds, grazing my neck, warming me back to tender
joy. I am reading and seeing into myself. There is
no dollar amount that can represent all these
moments, all these experiences that layer upon my
body, forming a core identity that I take with me
everywhere. Thank you, poetry.