i’m going back to Minnesota where sadness makes sense

o California, don’t you know the sun is only a god
if you learn to starve for her? i’m over the ocean

i stood at its lip, dressed in down, praying for snow.
i know, i’m strange, too much light makes me nervous

at least in this land where the trees always bear green.
i know something that doesn’t die can’t be beautiful.

have you ever stood on a frozen lake, California?
the sun above you, the snow & stalled sea—a field of mirror

all demanding to be the sun, everything around you
is light & it’s gorgeous & if you stay too long it will kill you.

it’s so sad, you know? you’re the only warm thing for miles
the only thing that can’t shine.

Danez Smith, “i’m going back to Minnesota where sadness makes sense” from Homie. Copyright © 2020 by Danez Smith. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.