It’s important to be happy about how sad you are

Last night I couldn’t sleep

and for the first time in a few weeks I noticed how beautiful

the woman in the picture I keep on my bookshelf is.

I don’t know who this woman is for sure but I think we’re related

because I found the picture in my grandfather’s sock drawer

a few days after he died when I was going through all his things

because I didn’t know what else to do.

But what I want to ask you is have you heard the El trains today?

They’re still up after all these years.

But what I want to ask you is you know when you think your phone made a noise

but when you check it you realize it didn’t make a noise and that instead the noise or the vibration

or whatever you thought you heard or saw was just in your head.

And probably it is a manifestation of your desire to be connected to people more

which is so beautiful I love you so much because you are filled with blood


and God made you a scrapbook of all the times you avoided eye contact

with somebody on the street asking for change.

They actually made a Facebook album and it’s titled

“everybody does this all the time but the key is to feel bad about it.”


Just kidding there is no God and you can’t use that many words in a Facebook album title anyway.

You only have 40 characters.

And God wouldn’t be mean to you because they love you.


This one time a man asked me for change at the LaSalle blue line station and I had 40 dollars in my pocket so I told the man no and he paused and then asked do you have any change and I said no and he paused and asked do you have any change and I said I do but that I didn’t want to give it to him and he asked me why I lied to him twice and I said it was easier than telling him I didn’t love him and he said why did I lie to him and I said what do you mean and he said Raul I know you love me and he gave me a kiss on the cheek and we stood there while 10,000 trains came and went and I called him father and he called me a beautiful pile of feelings and when I think about him my fingers turn pink.


Oh I forgot to tell you that every night we all have the same dream but can’t remember it

but I cut a hole in the ground beneath my apartment and dug my way down

to where all the bones are

and saw that they spelled out

“the dream is that we are the same person”

so guess what you’re my twin! Isn’t that great?


But what I want to ask you is why can’t we recognize

when someone is saying I love you in our immediate proximity.

I don’t mean when our mom says it to our dad or when our dog says it to our garbage can

or when our hair says it to our comb but when everyone in a crowd says it

quietly inside themselves. Is it because we haven’t read the bones right?

Hold on: I think my phone is trying to tell me something.



Status update: Sanity is the first time leaflets curl out of wood

Status update: Sanity is the song you can’t get out of your head after a particularly incredible make out session with someone you just met.

Status update: Sanity is a little bug you are too tired to deal with right now

Oh my god you are my best friend today! Oh my god it’s so unfair that there are more people than homes. If only we could make more homes!

To celebrate making it through another Thursday I made you a necklace that says youth culture forever and a bracelet that says taco party at my place.

If you want to know why I’m being coy it’s because when my mother tried to kill herself it didn’t work because I am one of the lucky ones and she’s a great mom.

I told her I was writing this poem and asked if it’d be okay to get a statement from her for it and she said “honey you can have anything you want because I love you.” I know I’ve said I love you too many times in this poem but it’s okay because it’s a rhetorical device. Rhetorical devices are language tricks you can use to tell people you love them.

What I’m saying is if there is anything worthwhile about growing up religious it’s that you will never stop believing in magic no matter what you tell yourself.

What I’m saying is saying that you’re saying things can be a political act or even something else.


I have a dear friend who sleeps in my bed when his insides are on fire because my bed is all the oceans.

I have a dear friend who calls me every night at 3am to tell me what the moon is doing.

I have a dear friend whose eyes are made of very shy birds.

I have a dear friend who eats clouds for breakfast.

I have a dear friend who wants your teeth to be her teeth.

I have a dear friend who lives inside a bus and you can ask for a ride anytime and they’ll take you to wherever you need to go because they love driving.

I have a dear friend who got the phrase SENTIMENTALITY RULES inside his lip and if you have a problem with this poem you can go talk to him.

This is something: you can be friends with someone you just met if the rain holds up. This is something: you can be friends with someone even if you’re both comprised of broken pieces. The pieces still work fine, I promise.


Oh God!

Is there anything like the summer? I think so


I think you are


when you’re still alive because we say

your name so often. So much can be erased by not saying.

But you’re here because we’re chatterboxes, sweetheart.


Sleep is okay if you’re into playing dead, but saying


is better.



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© Raul Rafael Alvarez