In all the rooms of this year, I was weird and feisty. Inside were a number of books. This is the reason I am so Chicago, ready to discard my country wisdom. There’s an analogy between the parts worth sharing: speak, look out the window, keep moving into the world. Let’s be real, world: I’d sell your heart if it meant you’d give up all these words and things. Listen: I’m sorry I couldn’t come over. I was rehearsing a hug and a wonderful night. Or I was in bed, reading, much-needed rain. I was a truck parked in front of the actor’s dream in New England, conjuring rain, Fernando Pessoa, a bed full of Emily Dickinson. Figures—I would think about her experience with this history. Hello New England: Come to hear us read The Cherry Orchard? We’ll have much-needed reading and rain. We’ve never even seen your quiet brick streets heading back into the night.
Naomi Washer is the author of two chapbooks: Phantoms (dancing girl press) and American Girl Doll (Ursus Americanus). Her essays, poems, and translations have appeared in Asymptote, Sundog Lit, Entropy Magazine, Essay Daily, The Account, Passages North, and other journals. Her manuscript, On Reading, was a semifinalist for the 2018 Dzanc Books Nonfiction Prize. She has received fellowships from Yaddo and Columbia College Chicago where she earned her MFA in nonfiction. She lives in Chicago where she is the editor and publisher of Ghost Proposal. www.naomiwasher.com.