Channel Islands, 2013

I Can Live Here

Summer, 2013

There are people who can live anywhere,

Who can feel at home in Australia,

Who can be at rest in Peru.

Who can live anywhere in peace.

There are people who can live anywhere.

I am not one of those people.

I am the person exile was invented for.

I cannot live anywhere.

I can live only here.

 

I can travel, I can become familiar with new places,

I can find my way around cities that were once strange to me.

I cannot live in in those places.

I can live only here.

My heart’s strength drains out of me when I am not here.

Little bits of it fall away each day I am not here.

Little bits, little bits, little bits…all drop away from me as I travel.

I have to come here to build my heart whole again.

 

I need to hear the peepers on the hot August nights,

I need to feel the humidity, to see hills covered with trees

I need for there to be spaces between houses.

I need to hear that flat midwestern accent, to see the blue in the sky that is only that blue here.

I am the person exile was invented for.

I can live only here

 

If I could not come back here I would slowly lose my heart.

I would always be restless,

I would always feel like a stranger.

I would not be here.

I can only feel home here..

 

But I will continue to travel, to risk my heart because I know now that there are places …wild places, windswept places,

Places unlike here, but like here.

I know them when I am there.

I feel my heart relax.

I feel my heart smile.

But I still cannot stay in those places, I cannot live there.

I can live here. Only here.

But when I am there with my friends,

When I am in the company of my friends, I am for that time here…

The bits of my heart don’t feel the need to search, to wander.

The bits of my heart sit awhile and listen.

I am here when I am with my friends.

 

There are some people who can live anywhere.

I am not one of those people.

I can live here.

About C. A. Metzger

I write travel books and am working on a detective novel set in Cleveland in the 1930's.
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