Tallahassee

I love sweaters
And I love my wife
And I love being out
So I have no choice
But to love
Tallahassee.

Tallahassee, Florida
Was a miserable place
For me to live, but
The place where my love
And my living
Became real.

Tallahassee is the kind of town
Where no matter what, most days
All you really need
Is a sweater
And this
Is the only thing
I truly love about the place,
(Except that I met my wife there.)

Chatting mindlessly one morning
About the weather
And the need for sweaters –
I realized:
Beloved community
Happens here,
No matter if I
Am miserable
Or otherwise.

Beautiful things happen
In miserable places
Every single day,
And on the very bad days
You can slip them around your shoulders
Like a well-loved sweater
And remember the blistering summer,
How you lamented that too,
But the fireflies were beautiful
All the same.

HP Rivers, 2022

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