Anyway, Love

While we are here.

Water texture, abstract, ocean, background

No, there isn’t a map, but you’ve heard this before. That isn’t what you’re after, is it? When you speak of what you never knew.

So much is obscured by the fog of empire. Maybe if it blew into the thin air of the last mountaintop at the exact moment of your arrival, still living, at its narrow peak––then you’d be able to see your way down. But maybe not.

Fair enough. How much blood in the veins of the earth, gathered from these wrecks and battles across time? The waste of it we call history and imagine this a map to what we used to be, that the discovery of this might involve some ancient key, glowing like the last fifteen minutes of a quest film, to lead us forward from our stadium seats, into the light.

But I don’t know, except for being here in the dirt, with clouds all week, and now mud from the rains, and here comes the wind again and those questions about what it might blow away or into us. I am here with these others; we’re tethered for now, and so there’s nowhere to go, is there, if they are here, too? Nowhere better but the staying while they are here, too, even as most of them are strangers by official standards. For which I have little use.

This morning, I was reading the words of five poets I’ve only ever known by the flesh of their words, and I knew I loved them for the way each sang of someday, when I learn to love––


Inspired when I chanced upon this Dean Rader poem, which echoes poems by Nâzim HikmetRoger ReevesOcean Vuong, and Frank O’Hara. What a stunning chorus across time.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

9 thoughts on “Anyway, Love”

    1. Agreed–– If I had to go without a punctuation mark, I could lose the period, so long as no one takes my commas or em dashes : )

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