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The Bare EssentialsTo Joseph O'Leary's previous piece


The Benefits of Home Schooling

I went back to New York City
  to see if I could find a poem

and
Of course I wanted to run into her
      but since it wasnít going to happen
      I decided not to push it


So I went looking for a poem
in a slice of my favorite pizza
        a loop around Times Square for the people people people 
		       in my face and past and gone before
			I or they knew it	
        a trip to Central Park
        a drink at my old bar

But it still felt like something was missing
      because all I could think of while
searching for a poem at the pizza joint
      is that it was her neighborhood
      and what if I saw her on the street  

      because all I could think of while
searching for a poem in Times Square
      is what would happen if she were there
      being sketched by one of the Chinese artists
	on Broadway in front of the Megastore
    what could she do if she couldnít move
	and I was just a passer-by watching
      
      because all I could think of while
searching for a poem in Central Park
                  and at my old bar
were all the times weíd had there

I had effectively removed myself from 
Every memory of New York
And I still hadnít found my poem

So I scratched all of that
And redirected the focus of my visit
 Now I was just checking up
	making sure the city was doing its job
	and it was and it hit me:

	The last two great loves of my life
	have rejected me because I couldnít
	guarantee them a lifetime of love
	think about that 
		a lifetime
	and thatís well, 
	thatís what they want

But let me tell you
Love doesnít guarantee anything
and none of your boyfriends you have for the rest of your life
will teach you that

and there will be many and they will all end

and all I want is to be normal but to me
Times Square is normal
what does that say?

and I never found my poem

and I never take a window seat on the bus

and the last thing I want to do is cuddle

and when I got back to Portland I felt at home for the first time in months

I know one never really leaves school but this is ridiculous

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