A tabulation of all that she romanticizes


Jessie Warren

An extremely grainy photo—but nonetheless one of my favorites—from the day I started this list

She’s always romanticized what’s at her fingertips,

captured beauty in sentence fragments.


Like stained glass windows

in high and hidden places—

her church is everywhere.


Or the way summer houses smell,

the creak of wood beneath her bare feet,

the ambiance of fireworks and the splashes of color between the blinds,

turning the television up,

but it doesn’t entirely drown out the rumbles.


Authors who have pieces of their stories in their homes,

subtle nods to their own elaborate creation.


And books,

finding new ones,

falling in love,

emotion that seeps between the bars of her heart.


Tan lines,

however faint they may be.

And tattoos,

last-minute designs sketched into her notebook

as the sun and the mist coalesce into morning.


The wispy hairs that frame a cat’s eyes,

mimicking eyelashes,

and soft paws extended in comfort.


Iced tea,

sweet-smelling shampoo,

soft strands slipping through her fingers,

poetry and old bookshelves,

vintage furniture,

flower bouquets in brown paper,

and birthdays.


“Dancing Queen” by Abba,

a breeze of summer memories,

one day when she can pretend everything is okay.