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because of the words

and because of the books

because of the woman in the anorak at the swimming baths

and the teaching of that paying of attention

because of the should I have heard of you

because of the friendship

to celebrate my gratitude

because once, the blackboard groaning with homework, a teacher stayed behind to say how pleased you had attended their lesson and had you considered reading Lawrence?

because of the influences

and because of the kindness

because once I was dying and now I am not dying

because of Jörn Cann swearing about Arsenal while giving me advice about dying

because of the car parks

because to be recognised first we have to become vulnerable 

because of the cost of all this

because of the blanket, which is the shadow and the safe space

because of the readers, known and not known

because of the connections

because it can be taught

because it can be taught

because we love it because someone else loved it enough to make us love it

because you need to stay in touch with the part of your heart that can still be broken with wonder and amazement

because without this I’d probably picking up litter

to say thank you

to celebrate my gratitude

because it changes your life, permanently

because it teaches you to notice

because of the process

because you do not read anything for months and then bam you realise you are alive again

because there are more voices still to be discovered

because of the teachers

because of the students

because of the exhaustion

because once I was dying and now I am not dying

because I know what it is like to be rescued

to take a stand

to say sorry

to try out stuff

to say thank you

to say thank you

to say thank you