to the person who gave me a thumbs up in union square: i don't know who you are but i swear in that moment i wanted to write a thousand love letters to you, wanted to drop a banner down the Empire State Building saying "THANK YOU STRANGER, I AM HOME," wanted to run over and tell you that I have been running from something from a long time but you finally gave me permission to rest. it was almost as if you understood this daily marathon: how fatigued it leaves me, how i want so badly to give up, how bruised my spirit has become. it was almost as if you knew that i could not do this alone. i have been struggling to find the language to describe what it feels like to have your heart broken by a stranger: how one word can erase an entire collection of poetry. but what you reminded me on that afternoon was that that which can destroy you also has the potential to dignify you. thank you for sustaining my dignity. thank you for teaching me the opposite of heart break. i wanted to let you know that i made it back home safe. and i have been trying to find your smile in the crowd ever since.

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