Places I Left My Heart

The house I grew up in and the swing set in the yard, the lid of the sandbox colored with marker to look like a giant pumpkin

in the town I attended college and the nature preserve behind it, the walking trails bursting with the smell of green life under the light of a full moon

the beach near my apartment in Los Angeles, the smell of sunscreen and salt, and the bluffs of Palos Verdes overlooking a sparkling ocean

the crowded, bustling streets of New York City, decorated with lamplight, no stars in sight, and soft snowfall melting in my hair

on Gramma’s porch, where she would tell me about chickadees and sing A Bushel and a Peck, feeding me chocolate covered graham crackers or popsicles

the theater in LA where I spent hours in rehearsal, selling tickets, and partying until the early hours of the morning, the smells of cigarette smoke and sweat hovering in the doorway

a house my aunt no longer owns, where we had dozens of Thanksgivings and Christmases, carving our names in the foam exterior of the air return in the basement

the house my Pépé built, with its glass doorknobs and pine paneled walls, and late summers picking blueberries from the bushes around the pond

in the heart of a friend I haven’t seen in half a decade, who lives in a city I’ve never been to, without whom life hasn’t been the same-

Pieces of my heart lie in memories and loves, lost feelings and burning hopes,

they are the sum of my scattered soul.

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