This is going to be a super short post, because even though I’m notorious among my friends for going over page limits on essays, I don’t know what to say right now. The attack there just feels…so close to home. I lived in the city for a year and fell in love with it enough to want to go back to France. Heck, I have eight friends who still live there (and who are luckily all okay). There’s even a picture of Nice taped to my desk, and now I’m trying to type this while I cry, so I’ll take that as my cue to stop.

Anyways, I’ve been meaning to post this poem for a while, but never really got around to it, and I figured now’s as good a time as any. For context, it’s about my experience abroad in Nice, and it was published in my school’s creative writing magazine, The Stylus.

What the Heart Leaves Behind

Society says that girls

should fall in love with boys—

but I fell in love with a city.


Its taste lingers in my mouth—

sandwiches and gelato,

laughter and français,

its sunshine fingers and

wisps of wind

still trailing across my skin.


I lost and found myself

in narrow streets

and crooked alleyways,

in poésie written within

the bright ochre walls

of Belle Époque buildings.


I watched the sun scatter fire

in the clouds every night

from a room with a floor

barely bigger than a suitcase—

but with walls painted the color

of the sea and the sky.


Today, the rhythm of my heart

echoes the wishbone dreams

strung up in the stars above

les Alpes et la Baie des Anges

they whisper in a language

I’m still learning to speak.


Sometimes, falling in love means

leaving a piece of yourself behind.


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