Stephanie Corral

Assume it’s in the kitchen,
under the couch, high
in the pine tree out back,
behind the paint cans
in the garage. Don’t try
proving your love
is bigger than the Grand
Canyon, the Milky Way,
the urban sprawl of L.A.
Take it for granted. Take it
out with the garbage. Bring
it in with the takeout. Take
it for a walk with the dog.
Wake it every day, say,
"Good morning." Then
make the coffee. Warm
the cups. Don’t expect much
of the day. Be glad when
you make it back to bed.
Be glad he threw out that
box of old hats. Be glad
she leaves her shoes
in the hall. Snow will
come. Spring will show up.
Summer will be humid.
The leaves will fall
in the fall. That’s more
than you need. We can
love anybody, even
everybody. But you
can love the silence,
sighing and saying to
yourself, “That’ s her.”
“That’s him.” Then to
each other, “I know!
Let’s go out for breakfast!”

-Jack Ridl

1
Portland was drinking tea and listening to Radiohead in the living room while it rained. Laughing every time a restaurant host told us the wait was one and half hours. Eating donuts before and after meals. Drinking beer on the backyard patio at midnight and being joined by a friendly neighborhood cat. The perfection that was dinner at Tasty n Alder. Daniel teaching us about interrobang, the most underutilized character in the English language. Dancing and singing along to “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads in Beam & Anchor with abandon. Talking rapid-fire Castellano with Melissa. Devon and I getting the best table at the Multnomah Whiskey Library on a Saturday night—without a reservation—by winning over the host with our wit and charm. Getting lost at Powell’s. Devon’s impression of “Seinfeld” during “Heads Up” that had Brandon slumped over the steering wheel, gasping for air as he laughed. Scanning the faces of my friends in the backseat darkness on our way back to Washington and feeling grateful and amazed at how we all came to meet in the first place.
(This picture was taken in Vashon, an island that is becoming harder and harder for me to leave). (I think spending Labor Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest has become my little tradition. Thank you, Brandon, Melissa, Devon & Daniel for making it happen!)

Portland was drinking tea and listening to Radiohead in the living room while it rained. Laughing every time a restaurant host told us the wait was one and half hours. Eating donuts before and after meals. Drinking beer on the backyard patio at midnight and being joined by a friendly neighborhood cat. The perfection that was dinner at Tasty n Alder. Daniel teaching us about interrobang, the most underutilized character in the English language. Dancing and singing along to “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads in Beam & Anchor with abandon. Talking rapid-fire Castellano with Melissa. Devon and I getting the best table at the Multnomah Whiskey Library on a Saturday night—without a reservation—by winning over the host with our wit and charm. Getting lost at Powell’s. Devon’s impression of “Seinfeld” during “Heads Up” that had Brandon slumped over the steering wheel, gasping for air as he laughed. Scanning the faces of my friends in the backseat darkness on our way back to Washington and feeling grateful and amazed at how we all came to meet in the first place.

(This picture was taken in Vashon, an island that is becoming harder and harder for me to leave). (I think spending Labor Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest has become my little tradition. Thank you, Brandon, Melissa, Devon & Daniel for making it happen!)

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