I wish I could have told you not to worry. That it wasn’t necessary. To trust in the moon and count the stars until you fall asleep, because on the other side there is safety and warmth. That every breath and tear and scream into a pillow was taking you one step closer to the next page. I know you didn’t think it would end, that chapter of endless hurt. That prolonged, medically sustained night. But here we are, and you, on the other side, a bright and shiny thing.
It was something like a fork in the road and instead I turned around.
Why am I still trying to untangle the damage when my comb is missing most of its teeth?
I want to know what goes on inside of you. The cracks in your bones and the faulty brags of your heart. I want to know your saddest sadness and your most joyful joy. I want to know your pain and your fear. I want to tuck myself into you every night, and know the floor plan of your being well enough that I don’t need to turn on the lights to navigate the space between your arms and the kitchen.
I am sure that I have loved you for much longer than I’ve known you. It started in the dark, deep cracks left behind by the thieves before you. It grew out of nothing, nurtured by nothing. I didn’t know that’s how love works; it just is.
I don’t know what to tell you.
We never saw the sun the same.
We never drank in the moon together
Or took greedy bites out of the ocean.
We shared cake once
And you thought I owed you
I don’t know.
I just want to climb upwards and outwards
Up the side of the moon
Out past the edges where everything blurs
I’m looking for something
Cold and wet and too big
To carry in my pocket.
I’ve been asking my mother every night
How do I wrap my legs around you,
so that you don’t slip away
in the milliseconds between today and
What if I fill you with champagne,
and spill it on the floor
and use the good towels to dry up
Who do you see when you wake up,
at 3:20 in the morning
for a break from dreaming,
next to you?
Where can I keep you safe,
from the dangers of living
and the inevitable awkward fumbles
When will I find you,
soft in the morning
of a breath-of-fresh-air