Let me be a witness to true things—
coffee percolating, summer
rain early morning cigarettes
Let me speak well, and kindly
to strangers on the street
and to myself when I’m alone,
Let all the dusty paperbacks mean something.
Let me know who I am
without the permission of those
who don’t and let me always strive for better
Let me be content with quiet
until I’m stirred to move
then let my actions be sincere
Let me be a journalist
are asphalt and tires
Let me not disturb the universe,
but Let me go always further
whether in chairs or in woods, and
Let me bring back a record of the human
heart that will outlive the beating of my
Let me have the strength to live without
you. Let me know I won’t live without love.
Ryan J. Skarphol is a queer poet from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is currently attending the University of Minnesota, Duluth for English and Journalism.