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A Letter to William Miller

By Ally Boyle

Winner of our December Contest!

It snowed for the first time this season today in the city. I saw on at least a dozen instagram stories the wonder of the frozen, recycled bathwater of the greeks, and i thought of you. 

Washington square park intrigued me all of autumn this year because of the persistence of the green leaves on the trees. Eager was i to see the annual changing of the leaves, and yet for so long the subconscious green stubbornly remained. Now i don’t know what color the leaves are, if any are even left. I think they may be brown, although now they’re likely just frozen that way. 

I think of you whenever i pass bleecker street. Part of it im sure is that you reintroduced me to simon and garfunkel, but i think theres something else too. Shadows touching shadows’ hands. Mad men? You never watched mad men to the best of my knowledge, but you sit side by side with it in my brain. Perhaps it’s the way late autumnal afternoon light hits the copper-brown brick and makes me feel like im sitting inside a fireplace, but am not burned. 

I was surprised to think of you on a day like today. Today is grey, white, silver-blue, nothing but a perpetual chill down my spine. You are warmth and cold perfectly blended, with warmth always ruling in that wrestling match. Today had no warmth until i approached my apartment building, rode to my room and did all i could do to surround myself with warmth. I turned on my desk lamp, coating me in soft amber. I sipped soup and watched a film i had been meaning to finish. I wish that i could surround myself with you that easily. 

You remind me of my favorite author. Not because you share a past in similar religions, and certainly not because you look alike (you don’t). I think you both share this gift of undeniable wisdom about things. Its a combined effort of perspective and intelligence and compassion for that which does not belong to you. Things that are in no way yours to know about you can understand better than the people who have experienced or know such things. All i want to do is find you in the city to say “thank you for everything” but alas! How could i say something so mundane to someone so ordinarily extraordinary? 

I think of you in a dimly lit disco bar in bell-bottoms because that’s how i’ll always see you. I think of you writing in your notebook, surrounded by those who may be older but shall never be wiser than yourself. I think of you when autumn comes and goes. I think of you when i look at my favorite greek sculptures. Like everything i love, you defy antiquity in my head. I think of you when it snows, and when seasons change, because i measure time in my days of knowing you. Like my brown leaves covered in snow on the trees at washington square park, your warmth is frozen in time for me-no matter the hour, day, week, month, year, decade or century.

You are home.

You are home.

You are home.

“You are home”. 

All my love,


a note from the artist-

"There are people in our life that are frozen in time forever from when we knew them-I firmly believe that they live inside us and help us thrive. This is my ode to one of those people; a person who exists beyond the boundaries of time and the changing of the seasons, one who gave you gifts of body, soul, and mind that can never be repaid"

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