“Yearning” is an actual thing.




1. to have an earnest or strong desire; long.
2. to feel tenderness; be moved.
[before 900; Middle English yernen, Old English giernan, derivative of georn eager, c. Old Saxon, Old High German gern, Gothic -gairns desirous; akin to Greek chaírein to rejoice, Skt háryati (he) desires]
yearn′er, n.
syn: yearn, long, hanker, pine all mean to feel a strong desire for something. yearn stresses the depth and power of the desire: to yearn to begin a new life. long implies a wholehearted desire for something that seems unattainable: to long to relive one’s childhood. hanker suggests a restless craving: to hanker after fame and fortune. pine adds the notion of physical or emotional suffering due to the real or apparent hopelessness of one’s desire: to pine for a lost love.¹
Fallen Leaf Girl

When I was younger
it was mountains
that made me sigh,
that made me yearn
to put their beauty into my heart—
to eat it
to drink it
to love it
to have it
in the deepest way. I tried

but I never could. I
photo’d it
sketched it
marveled at it
sometimes swam
or slept in it.

Had to love it from afar.

And I tried these things
with the girls
I loved, too.
But I could never really
have them, either,
not the way I wished I could,
the way I thought I “should”
(though with each passing year
that we don’t explode
wifey comes closer and closer
to seeing and being
my true love).

Now, tonight, I saw from above
my daughter’s eyelashes.
She was asleep on my shoulder,
her feet remarkably at rest
in pink bunny slippers,
no longer
for the moment
dancing and skipping around.
Her warmth and her breathing
massaged my side and
I sighed
but not as I used to.

Because I yearned
to put this little beauty,
this little fairy gem,
into my heart,
to eat her up
to drink her in
to love her completely
to be her and to have her
in the deepest way,
and I could (at least for now).

I smiled as
I was blown away
on this gust of love
and knew that
the beauty of my hard-won tribe,
–both inexorably molecular
and willingly emotional–
is more sublime
by far
than the peaks and valleys
I traveled as a boy
on my way



–November, 2013

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