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  • AN URBAN LOVE STORY

    The story of my life begins like this:

    stop waiting.

    Everyday I wake and discover

    the soft curve of your ear

    and your heavy breathing beside me.

    I move through the day,

    everyday,

    pondering what feels off

    what I do not have

    what more could be done.

    “Should” rules me.

    Everyday, I stare at this city

    from my small city block

    as if all the secrets of Chicago

    are contained within it.

    When did I become lonely?

    When did loving you and

    making words

    not plug the gaping hole in my chest?

    On our balcony, I write furiously

    awakened by the sound of traffic

    as my toes grow cold

    and the sun perches behind the soft haze of white moisture

    And I breathe deeply.

    The first hint of fall is upon us

    and I am happy.

    The Captain’s Verses sits beside me,

    off-white with that stamp of aqua

    containing such a familiar name:

    Pablo Neruda.

    I want to do it like he did it,

    by the water, with his love,

    all day plagued by the words

    in his head and the fire in his belly.

    I am not a poet,

    but I can still write like one

    If I want to.

    A mug of coffee sits in my right hand,

    for it is heavy like a bowl

    and my hands are tired.

    A thick blanket drapes across my body

    Our home is taking her first inhale.

    And yet you are still sleeping.

    Should I wake you?

    Everyday, I plan to be different

    I see people and laughter

    and a house for two.

    And yet the only laughter is our laughter

    echoing off of walls that are not ours

    in a city that feels rented

    And I ask, “Is it enough?”

    Should it be?

    The story of my life should not be

    “stop waiting”

    but: she never waited.

    She lived, she loved, she tried,

    she mattered.

    She never gave up and she never fell prey

    to the same

    story.

    She constructed hers with a different paper

    and a thicker ink.

    And yet here she is, on a random balcony on the fifth floor

    of a building,

    that diamond studded water just out of reach.

    If she strains, she can see it

    or perhaps she only imagines she can see it.

    Either way, she creates it from memory.

    The water calls to her as it has called to so many

    throughout history.

    “Fling away your life,” it says. “Come start a new one.”

    Create your own consequences.

    She looks inside. The screen obscures her vision.

    She sees only herself staring hard at questions unanswered.

    Can she undo all of this, or is she just lonely?

    Does she need more?

    Will moving change nothing or everything?

    She continues to ponder in a journal pieced together

    by the hands of her husband.

    Her body aches for the warmth of his cheeks and fingers.

    He will know what to do, she thinks,

    how to guide them, how to make their lives fit

    with the purpose of

    doing anything.

    For now, her face tips up.

    She takes a clogged breath,

    filled with the city’s grit,

    but at least it is a cool day.

    She will take this small gift of weather

    and find a sweater buried deep in her closet.

    She will wear it proudly.

    It is Labor Day, but today,

    there will be no labor.

    Only love and reading and a general contemplation

    of things.

    She takes another sip.

    The coffee is cold.

    The sun starts to dance,

    breaking apart the clouds.

    Inside,

    the drone of the TV lingers.

    She hears a baby cry.

    Her husband’s footsteps rattle the floors.

    She smiles.

    “Time to wake up,”

    she whispers.

    It is finally time.

    Rea and I have known each other forever. We go way back to the days of Pumas and Jncos. Actually we go back years before those days. But the Jnco wearing days are when we became "official". She is my dearest, oldest, and closest friend. I was recently able to go to Chicago to spend time with Rea and her adorable husband Alex. This photo shoot  was extremely impromptu. Rea and Alex never had the opportunity to have engagement photos taken, so this is sort of a tribute to that lost time. They have a beautiful marriage and adore one another. I love you both!!

    Below is a bit of poetry that Rea wrote. She originally chose this piece of writing because it so perfectly matched the photos. I found it to be just as fitting :)

    Written by Rea Frey Holguin (Inspiration provided by Alex Holguin)