Boston; two years, two poems.

| May 1, 2013 | 1 Comment

When I got to college last September, the very first week, I wrote a poem for Boston.

I do not own you

Not in the way that I am used to owning

The air in my lungs

We are still hesitant and do not know

If a kiss on the cheek is too personal

Or should we shake hands?

We are acquaintances

And forgive me

But I don’t yet know how you take your coffee

Or if you’ll ever feel like home


This is not a poem I ever meant to share with anyone because I never found it particularly special. I was never overwhelmingly pleased with the imagery. I thought the word choice was just okay. It was only the nervous anxiety of freshman forlorn, an urge that I needed to jot down.

I am sharing it now because I finally, definitely, calamitously have an answer for myself.

This is the second poem I wrote for Boston, written April 17.



I saw you in a tank top

I saw you in racer shorts

I saw you down a beer at 10:45 on a Monday morning

I saw you climb a tree in a crowded intersection too drunk to care that the cops were calling you

I saw you smiling Citgo shine

And then I saw the insides of your arteries.


I saw the marrow in your bone

And it was full of spongy hands holding hands holding eyebrow creases

It was full of children holding women holding men shaking bad

It was full of metallic police stars officer officer OFFICER PLEASE

and then, Yes.

Then smears less like war paint and more like pen ink

Do Not Be Afraid, For The Wicked Are Not Wicked Here

We are loud but we can be so soft—We are only calloused baby skin

and You can sleep here tonight

A city quick to sleep, quick to drink, quick to stand, but quickest to love so hard it aches my fingers to watch

The marrow that I saw in your bones had rolled up letters inside

Firm and wet smudged and in my handwriting

God, see this place

Recover it soundly

And most especially rename it My Home


Boston is recovering. Copley opened for the first time again this weekend. In a way things are settling back to a sense of normal. But for me, things will never be the same. Because for me I discovered a new place in me that was born in and will always be from Boston.

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Category: Art and Literature, Boston, Campus Culture, featured, Philosophy and Religion, Poetry, Prose and Comedy

About the Author ()

Lily is a sophomore journalism major-English minor who thinks words are the best thing since ever. She is from the South Carolina coast, which she encourages you to visit sometime because she promises they will be so hospitable to you there. She likes writing, acting, and Ira Glass from NPR's This American Life.

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  1. June G says:

    Welcome home, Southern Belle…

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