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Dear P.,

I think of you as a beautiful bird who flies into my inbox carrying warmth and light, the inversion of a stormcrow, the opposite of an albatross. Perhaps this entire endeavor should be credited to you, who taught me about unsolicited graciousness—you were sending me love letters long before this blog existed. Uncanny how they always arrived when I most needed an uplift: praise for a published poem I’d nearly forgotten after the book was rejected again, or even a random kindness on a first day of my period. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, but once when I was locked out of a home I wanted to burn down anyway, you wrote me to say you have a place in this world. Another time, you said when you read me, something always opens. When you open your sweet wings and make your way to my branch of the web, I un-forget soaring, blood, woman-love, and thumping-truth. Miles be damned, we are not separate, any of us, not beaten but beating—we can change the wind if we all thump in the same direction at once, gravity rolling right off our feathers.

xo S

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Love letters to my Facebook friends project

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