Grayson! There are so many great images in here, so much detail that creates beautiful moments. I’m pretty sure I walked away with the proper emotional takeaways. I really enjoyed reading this piece a lot, you really got me with the cutting of the birthday cake at odd angles, that image does so much work. Lots of gold.
As a reader I got stuck in a few places as I moved to new stanzas the visuals and metaphors seemed to change or morph into new ideas, still lovely and surreal, but not always tying back to the details of the stanzas that came before. This could very well be my own brain not following along properly, so don’t take that note to heart. One thing Buddy always underscores is the process of going back and making sure that the logic checks out, that the metaphors don’t jump so many clicks out that the reader has no idea how we got here.
There is something very impactful in this piece. Attaching a word doc with specific notes. Take what resonates, delete the rest.