The music plays Ani in syncopated beats as my mind considers where I find myself. I'm sitting in an apartment whose rent is as much as my mother made in a month. She sacrificed everything for me, and I had no idea until years later.

My childs breath warms my foot while cats lay sleeping on stereo and floor. A mile west jannie sits beside her love. Northwest of her my oldest friend sits at his computer contemplating what he has done. His girlfriends broken heart lies on his couch. Maybe six miles to the northwest my boyfriend lies recovering from jannies cold. I have seen him maybe twice in the past month and wonder what is to become of us.

Again I turn my thoughts westward and follow them to New York. One girl rides a train home and draws with colored pens in a pad of childlike dreams. I smile as I think of her and let my mind head west again. Karen in there and I don't know what to say. She was the love of my life. I would have married her in a second, without hesitation or thought, but now she is someone else, someone who pushed me away for reasons known only to her.

West again through darkened air Michigan approaches and a friend who sweetly stole my heart lies with her fiance worrying about money and hoping the world will somehow work out for them. I head south to Indiana, and see my sister. I sit beside her and try to let her know I love her, and lend her the strength to sleep, and not worry quite so much. Her boy, my boy, is in his house tonight. I feel myself touch down on his roof but I do not enter. He is ok, but needs to learn the next part on his own.

West again, and north, into the Los Angeles suburbs. I used to play cards with this boy and his wife. Their house was welcoming, and so were their hearts. I miss you zak. I don't know quite what you became to me, but you are friend and I will always think of you even in the months between our words.

I have reached the other coast and the sunlight can still be seen over the horizon. I miss these sunsets. They were the best thing about California, sunsets, and the Birds of Paradise that grew outside our window.

My father sits alone in his Miami condo like me in my Boston apartment, one reading, one writing.

I feel selfish to wish I could share this bed when the world has already given me so much.

to those of you i didn't mention: don't worry. you're in there. I just didn't write everyone.