this must be the place

3 min readJan 22, 2021

Yet, something seems off.

For one, I never moved.

This must be the place but,

all familiar shapes my calm relies on

have somehow repositioned in ways I find confusing, and scary,

if I’m being honest.

I’ve started to notice the presence of new shapes all around me. There are now shapes burrowing pathways inside my home, shapes loudly whipping in the air above me like a stubborn kite, pleasantly sartorial shapes inside every shop window. There are new shapes inside my phone apps, shapes inching closer to my face, shapes right behind me; how long have shapes been standing there?

There is so much more to see here than I ever noticed before, it all wants to be seen, it begs for my spotty attention.

Smells, too; new smells have been invented from the things I‘ve been combining with my hands. Outside, tempting smells and minerals swirl everywhere I walk,

I could practically taste the air here

if I were hungry.

This must be the place? But

secondly, I never moved. Yet,

I feel more. There are places on my body — to be more precise, the edges of my forehead, the tops of my feet, and the very tip of my nose — that feel warmer now,

spots I didn’t know could uniquely feel anything,

spots I don’t care about.

Me and my body don’t know how to receive any of these things, except,

as if to try and indulge at least one of my senses,

at night

I sit outside and


Nothing calls out to me here.

Nothing scares me away.

“Old shapes were once new shapes,” I read on a fortune cookie.



a refugee to the sovereign nation

of me.

I glare at all shapes now. I refuse to let them take me by surprise again. I take notice of how they shift, how they sound, how they feel, hoping I might will one into a giant wing, lifting for me.

These must be the people.

By contrast, they seem remarkably on.

They are quite clever, full to bursting with silliness, and, on sight, effortlessly attractive in the usual ways: tan, curvy, accented and wide-eyed.

These people! They have a funny sort of way about them,

the way they sneak up from behind you and pull you air-tight against their chests,

the way they intuit your own pain before you will,

the way they yip when you touch your nose to theirs, and how they moan your name too loudly, the way they laugh at your jokes, the way they cry so hard their nails dig into the fleshy bottoms of your squeezed hands,

the way their words transform into their actual behaviors,

the way they lock eyes with you with a level of conviction you never knew people had the capacity for, the way this inadvertently forms new resentments in you.

These must be the people (not the place).

They seem nice — for people.

If you were to turn around

as I do often

and then look back,

they would still be there.

These must be the ways

something set in motion will tumble

if you finally let it.

Thoughts break off,

up from somewhere bigger,

rolling and bounding and bristling

down the side of the hill,

into and onto and with you,

becoming something different on their way down.

If you follow them, you will become unassembled, carved jagged, far away from where you started,

piled up on the ground,

a new formation

totally new,

totally old,

refugees in a strange land,

people with people,

new ideas, all