July 5, 2013

con mortuis in lingua mortua


Every time my friend gets dumped,
he pens a letter to his newest ex.
The letters feel like weird commencement
speeches, he says. Each one starts
with an anecdote then blooms
into a vague blessing. So one opens
with a tale of a stranger knocking
on a strange door. It ends
with an uncharted sea, the bow
of the lover’s boat kissing the tops
of waves, wind messing the hair,
virgin coastlines straight ahead.
Or another letter kicks off with a story
of two golden retrievers, digging separate holes
in a common yard. Then closes
with a prayer, clouds that part,
a funnel of light. Hey, it’s been fun!
You were "here." Successfully,
you finished being "here." Good luck.

So that was my version of the anecdote.
Here’s my attempt at the blessing—

I haven’t slept in days.
I can’t find a single amusing narrative
to narrow all this history into a metaphor
for this moment. You are heading off toward—
somewhere. I hope you get there.

- matthew olzmann, commencement speech delivered to an audience of one



because I know you stop by my corner of the internet from time to time: best of luck to you on your journey, g. I hope you finally believe that you deserve to be happy, and I hope at last you are.

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