To Be Alone

Love yourself first
they tell us, as if
they already taught us
to walk chin-up, shoulders-back through
life, after we already have swallowed our
confidence like an elixir, after we learn
how to be small,
how to stack knees together and to
curve inward around our convictions.
Love yourself
even on the days where only
the wind seems to pull you closer
to tomorrow. Sometimes, I catch
her in the dusty glass as the train skips back
into Virginia. I do not know
if it is love that holds her
upright among those suited bodies,
alone in their headphones, alone
in their empty faces, but
there she is—
windswept,
alone among them.