Genuine Heart of Sadness

for Kevin.

driving through the dustygold wheatfields of Eastern WA
i imagine you at the age of 15,
standing somewhere in Idaho, with friends
already you;
long, exquisite, and articulate
with so many questions.

Did you imagine the life you have Now?
high-powered career, life in Manhattan, fresh strawberries, fabulous hats, lovers,
your picture in the Style Section of the NYT, discovered by adoring friends on the opposite coast…

My wondering about Younger You is interrupted
by the sight of a partially decomposed deer carcass
in the median
which makes me think of the half-deflated
shiny red heart-shaped helium balloon we passed a while back,
snagged on barbed wire
and flattened in the wind

Death and Love and Accidents

I flashback to making top ramen with you in Logan
and smoking cloves in the bomber jacket on your balcony
under that vast clear Cache Valley Wintersky
which sparkled with six million stars

the Buddhists talk about the Genuine Heart of Sadness
which i understand as a beautiful willingness to Open
to live fully in the world, acknowledging and letting in the Pain of Living
without being Imprisoned By It,
an act of courage
which enables one to experience Real Joy

it occurs to me that you embodied this idea for me
years before I learned about it in a dharma class.

the other day I found a box on the doorstep from New York
with a sexy red apron and two matching potholders
and i laughed and laughed
what better nod to the current version of Me
such delicious irony.
and an inexplicable ziplock bag of googly eyes.
to stick on the baby, or wherever.
and a letter
which i will reread now.

It made me want to write you a poem.

Here.

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