Some middle-aged dude in a plum-colored corvette was in line in front of me at K Brew and was all curious, in that rich middle-aged guy way, about my bike which was locked to the railing outside. “That’s an old Univega frame… [mumble mumble something about “modified”] … Haven’t seen one of those in ages…” Since he seemed like a real prick I didn’t say anything, but—I am just excessively fond of this bike. What a beaut she is. Next in line to get fixed: seat and handlebars.

A real cappuccino, because I’ll get pregnant when I get pregnant, and way up over Broadway the blue heron (or whatever kind of heron he is) slowly beats his way west.

And I need to write about my life. I need to write some prose, about what it is to be me, right now. I have to stop crying because I miss being a writer…and write for God’s sake. But I don’t know where to start. In moments like this the page, my mind, the whole world feels blank—there’s nothing to pin down. Or everything, which is the same thing.


East, some degrees from the rising sun and its path into April skies, a faraway jet moves northward, its white pencil pushing forward, comet-like. I’ve biked to the neighborhood coffeeshop and am writing in the window, early morning sun casting tiny shadows from the ridges of my writing paper. Pears, plums, weeping cherries, redbuds, and magnolias, daffodils, henbit, chickweed and speedwell cushion and fringe the world with their living tissue, their tender mouths, which call to the bees, the fuzzy-faced honeybees about which all the world is nervous, and watching. It is a triumph to see a honeybee, and a great work to grow their flowers.

This, then, will be the beginning of my new writing project, the one in prose, in which I will tell what it is to live in this particular world from this particular body. This is the writing project you are writing, too, in your own body, with your own breath, and synapses. Maybe you will write yours on paper, too; if you do, would you let me read it? It’s an honor and a blessing to see the eyes of others on the road, to exchange names, to shake hands and turn away toward the road again, smiling or laughing from the encounter. I meet others so rarely. I send my greeting to you. This book will be a greeting, Whitman-style, to you, traveler on the open road.