I like my French roast coffee ground from fresh beans first thing in the morning and by morning I mean before the sun comes up by a handful of hours. My stomach is in knots with a fluttered mixture of excitement and angst, almost without fail, before every sunrise as my whole body and being itch to get to the little room with all the words. I need the words and I like to believe they need me. I like writers who are unafraid. I hope to be one someday. I’m not sure they exist. I like women who enjoy being looked at, taken in, hungry and alive. In my younger days I worried a lot about being looked at as I was awkward, tall and thin as a rail. Skittish, bookish, shy in public but under the right stormy circumstances a brash little thing at home. Wild imagination nonstop, I often felt more powerful than I actually was. I had passion, conviction, desire. All the things you are taught to keep under wraps as a girl, so I tumbled them all together and expressed them in outwardly acceptable ways: fashion, makeup, hair, clothes, boys. But that was ages ago and now I’ve been through more than that little girl could ever possibly have imagined. As she teased her long blond hair. As she teased the other girls, as she teased the boys who became the men who teased her back and though they were not more clever, they were more calculated. You play ever more dangerous games because you can’t resist the way they taste smoldering in your mouth, tingling inside your fast beating chest, and you win and you lose and you can never go back because back never existed even while you were in it. You realize life is land mines as often as it is miracles and that both can fit in the palm of your hand at once, flexing and fanning its wings, up and down, up and down slow. Separate synchronized motions, each unaware of the other, conjoined in a body at the center. Muscle. Tendon. Breath. Curiosity is a wet lung, a starved aching thing. To crave feeling, crave knowledge, crave attention, crave solitude. A woman lusts for many things. A woman is patient for too many things, sits at the window as snowfall lights up her face like an angel. Like a ghost. Divinity, transparency, a mind within a mind fragile like a painted springtime egg. Cracks in the ceiling of a shattered heart. There is a sky full of endless sky, it watches from a distance overhead. A woman who needs. If only the world could handle that without recoiling. Punishing. Silencing. Injuring. Damaging. Degrading. What would it take to witness and not dismiss. To acknowledge and not frighten. To cherish and let go without a fight. To touch and not taint. Who will teach us, who will listen, who will hold space. Women. Women. Women.