Dear Carmen,

Your bandages are permanent and you managed to damage the firmament. Who, other than you, could have soared so high in so simple but passionate a way? I pity the abuse you have endured and would have beaten away from you all of your attackers. Is that why you sought the rapture of beauty? And came to control it? I admire your resilience even with your disease. Many men and many bottles lined our halls, but, girl, you have always had it all. Your music still soothes me as it resonates in my soul timelessly. My fallen troubadour, sing to me again, someday.

Thank-you for keeping me and taking such a bewildering chance. I know I have salted your wounds but why could you not understand me? Was I too “teen”, or too “in between”? Keep questioning everything and, my love, I may let you in. Our embraces do not last years, but sporadic segments along an eternal and cold chain. What are you running from? Who do I remind you of? How can talent exist amid so much suffering and yet still resort to blame? You nurtured me very well, I will give you that. Maybe, like a statue, if you breathe your story you will crack, but I want to know what has made your age so brave—and has the pain been worth it?