My Dear City, I write this love letter to you:
A starry-eyed girl I was when I came
full of intrigue, aspirations, and lust –
but you ate me alive as you challenged my soul
and slowly devoured my trust.
It was sin to give in though
so I stayed with resolve,
determined to find why I came;
meanwhile, I fell in love with your secrets –
then stayed for the love of the game.
You bit and you chewed
then you swallowed me whole
but from inside you seemed to be glowing;
I suffered and starved as you fed and I died –
but never did it stop me from knowing –
There was a purpose for me here
(I knew I would find it)
though when, how, or what stayed unclear –
so I trudged through the mud, mostly blind,
and at times
fell face-first – but now I am here …
On the other side, eight years later, I stand
so grateful for lessons I’ve learned;
I’m honored to be blessed with the perspective you gave
and the changes for which I had yearned.
Oakland, I Love You – I won’t forget
how I made you my nest all these years;
you nurtured my roots, my wings, and my mind
and forced me to conquer my fears.
To my city, my Love, it’s now our time
to part ways and say our goodbyes;
from you I emerge a new woman and take
all the strength that I gained in disguise.