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the pennies


now, my friends, please hear:
it is the song of a dream:
each spring the gold young corn
gives us life;
the ripened corn gives us refreshment;
to know that the hearts of our friends
are true is to put around us
a necklace of precious stones.
-aztec indians

this page serves as a representation of my deep and sincere thanks to all of the wonderful and beautiful people who have helped me along the road to survival. while there are many, many people who have supported and guided me in all areas of life, this page is dedicated to those who have made a profound impact on the part of me that needs to heal from my violations, to those who have helped me heal a piece of my broken heart.

i profess my gratitude to you here, remembering moments, acts of kindness and of beauty, words that you said, glances we exchanged, things that meant something, something important, something special, something strengthening. i am remembering the precious moments in which i told you, in which you guessed, in which you never knew. i am trying somehow to put the energy of my thanks into the world. even if you never read this, even if you never identify yourself as one who should be thanked, even if you never know it is me who wrote these words, please take them in, take them into your soul and your heart, and it is my sincerest hope that some of the magic in my fingertips, the magic i collect from rainwater and sunrises and moonlight and seaspray, is brought into your life in the purest form you can wish for.


mama, for counting the grains of rice into my open palm and for your unexpected grace in understanding and acceptance.
you were with me when i took my first steps toward so many things, toward freedom, toward truth, toward adulthood, toward myself. and you held my hand through it all, and held your chin up high and proud where you belong. we are joined deep, and somewhere within yourself, you know me like trees know the wind, and like waves know the shoreline. i know that you will see me shimmer someday, i know that you will see me grow.
lunaria, for shining in the darkness like a star nestled in the bosom of the earth, and for wanting to help.
i looked up at you, that first day, when you were hurrying toward our car through air hung heavy with summer, and the scent of ripe blackberries. wearing green and white, you were unbelievably precious in that moment. i knew the instant that i saw your eyes, luminous and innocently wise, that you meant something to me. something ancient. the blissful days we spent together on the grass in gossamer conversations, the hours exchanging philosophy and prose, the graceful laughter, these are the things that are in my memory, these are the things i know you by. when i told you that night by candlelight, i hadnít meant to. i fell from grace, from glory, and confessed. you were quiet, you drew away. and now, i am a moth, you are my moon, a light too high for me to fly to, even when you appear tangled in the branches of my apple tree.
revolution boy, for being beautifully unfrightening, for listening, and for telling me it wasnít my fault.
the poems i write for you, titled only with repetitions of your name, should be enough to express my gratitude. the way something within me sings like a newly-freed bird everytime i see your smile should be enough. but there is something so strong, something in the way you move, in the way you exist, something that draws me to you like you must have a lock of my hair tied with crimson ribbon and blessed by a priestess beneath your pillow. each time i see you, with a sound like fire, i fall in love with something new. your hands, your eyelashes, the way the fabric of your shirt makes your hair look like quicksilver beneath a streetlamp. i do not shrink from you. you could run up behind me and i would turn, knowing your presence and knowing the joyful prospect of resting my cheek momentarily against your shoulder. it is pure mystery, the way you make me feel so unthreatened, so raw. pure. mystery.

oceania, for faltering and for being real, for wanting to learn. and for always standing near to me.
even through our crazy times, moments of hurt and wonder and glory, we have always been next to each other. like photographic negatives, your lightness and my dark, we have complimented each other numerous times and in countless ways. dancing, fourth of july, laughter, poetry, grass, chocolate. i will always hold you as dear to me as a candle, my hand sheltering the flickering flame, a memory of joy, a reflection of kindness. i will remember you.

the library lion, for trying so hard, and making me feel beautiful with your words. you are quiet in your splendor, steady in your trustworthiness.
you are my jungle, tangled and unexplored and fierce in love. from the moment i drifted off to sleep on your shoulder that dew-spangled morning until this moment i sit writing in the middle of the night, i have been drawn to you by an inexplicable force. i love the honesty i can share with you, the rawness i can express without fear, without worry. only determination. you, with your gentle eyes and singing words, have helped me grow in a way i can never explain. in hardship we triumph, in beauty we learn, at chaos we laugh, as free and as wild as children.

aramoro, for so many things. being my poppy boy. teaching me about lust. respecting my boundaries. crying for me. letting me remember your voice.
i heard from a friend that you were crying again, and all i have been able to remember is how lovely you looked when you cried over me, when you cupped my face in your piscean hands and tried to see into my pain. you are confused, i know, and for this i love you more. my walls wear emblems of what once was, and i can still remember the way your hair smells beneath the sun.

sparrowrose, for bringing me paper flowers and necklaces you made with your delicate fingers. for turning your smiles to me. for letting me hold you as close as i feel able.
i love you, you sweet, sweet girl. on days when i feel broken and crumbling from the inside out i hope for a glimpse of your smile, rare now as diamonds and twice as valuable. it is you i would give myself to protect, it is you i have oft cried for, in wonder and in remorse. how anyone ever hurt you remains an unanswered question, one which i will never answer with anything satisfactory. your eyes are full of light, hope, passion, they look as though when you slept as a child, angels crept to your crib and kissed your eyelids, so that you might possess some of the knowledge of god behind your eyelashes. do not ever forget your wisdom.

ash, for holding me that night. thatís all. i needed your arms around me, and you held me close.

gemini fire-girl, for being fierce in your healing and beautiful in your art, for letting me fall quietly in love with the way you move across that yellow carpet we call home once a week.
the very first moment i saw you, i regret to admit that i did see you as a girl from a romantic painting, someone tragic and whispery with long pale fingers and eerie green eyes, which is one of the reasons why you let your copper curls fall, so that no one would think that anymore. you are adventurous, strong, truthful. things i admire, and at one time wished i was. now, i am. and much of it is with your help.

dragon, for your friendship and for our weekend rendezvous with giddiness and romps with melodrama.
when i am with you, all i have to be is me. this history doesnít matter. all i am is a gleeful, singing girl, or a quiet, weeping maiden sitting on the edge of a soft blue bed with dreary tears of obsession winding their way down my cheeks. and there you are. i have no cause to pretend, no wanting to be something different from myself. thank you.

dreamy fiasco, for echoing my words back to me, for making me laugh and for letting me go all serious on you.
admitting that i have fallen in love with you is difficult, because it aches. i think that in many hidden recesses of me it always will. you are the sort of boy i always swore off, because of your pain. your struggle, your anger. but i find you beautiful beyond compare, beyond words, beyond light. your silhouette, painful and sharp, twists an invisible cord around my neck and stops my voice. i have no wish to ever hurt you. in your darkness i see myself, and my own rage. you have unwittingly showed me a path.

hamlet, for telling me that you would always come to my rescue.
i, ophelia, and you, my heroic counterpart, smelling of leather and grease, standing nonchalant beside your metallic steed, caressing my shoulder with an idle hand of experience. you toss me chocolate, glances and kisses. i said that i would come with my arms full of roses, a flowery embrace, to toss down at your feet in favor of trapping you in the crooks of elbows. such is still true. you are my inspiration sometimes, are you still my eternal, or have so many things changed?

champagne gardenia, for your packages. for your quiet faerie voice, for your bewitching fingers.
across an endless sweep of land, mile after mile of mountains and forests, deserts and prairies, our love has flown on feathered wings, white and shining in sunlight, moonlight, and rain. barefooted our love has galloped over the wet leaves of autumn, witnessed frosty-breathed the first snow, and will be hovering in the branches of an old oak tree when we are reunited. in sculptures, matches, postcards and sighs we translate our truths to one another, and you have read mine so perfectly i cannot help but love you more and more with each passing moment. your eyes like the sea, i miss you always, sweet one. with love, from your button.

pirate of the east, for telling me i am beautiful, and for being nervous and awkward on the phone when we are thousands of miles apart.
i knew your name for such a long time before i knew you, and when you stepped into the theatre one day you were perfect, exquisitely matched to the digits of your phone number and the letters of your name, crazy perfect. i always want to know you, confide in you, argue with you about the meaning and the truth behind love. someday i would like to be your jane, someday i would love to dance with you.

crescenda, for being the first survivor i ever admired.
i saw you one night on the stage, standing tale and proud, a strong fourteen with long thick hair, telling us all your truth. it was you who made me want to take a stand, you who helped me believe that i could write for the stage and have it be my own honest, raw pain. you were the image of the survivor i wanted to fit, the strong, blossoming, emerging young woman, eloquent and agile, noble as the rain. i will always be in your debt.

the lost boys, because i love you, my wandering patron saints of loneliness and bravery.
there are so many boys i know, cold and hurt, who walk with heads bowed and hands clenched, boys with whom i have shared life and pain and giggles. boys from whom a touch means the world. boys who have been injured and betrayed but who will sometimes, very carefully, find a way and a window for me to be let in. you are the boys who are afraid to say what has happened, afraid to tell the world about your pain. i am a piece of the sky, a sliver of moon, and beneath wednesday afternoon suns you have shared your pain with me, a little at a time, until i understand. you are all glorious. okay, soldier?

from the bottom of my heart and the depth of my soul, i thank you all.