It would be one of those Southern nights that are dipped in humidity. There would be a sliver of moon’s gold amidst a sprinkling of stars, the moonlight so faint that we cannot see features, but only our shadow-silhouettes through it’s champagne light. The night would be warm enough, but moist, so that chill-bumps might dimple your skin where the breeze finds it. Or maybe it’s not the breeze dimpling your skin, but trepidation, the surprise of finding that bare skin alone in the night beside a strange boy. Maybe those bumps are because I am right here, so close that you can hear me breathe, the only other sounds the anxious cries from indiscernible crickets, and the rustle of black water stirred by four bare feet dipped overside of the dock. You might wish for a voice to break the silence, a single word to blanket the dark with security, just one word to relieve the tension that somehow hangs thicker on the air than the humidity. It is late, and we are very alone.
What if I found your hand in the dark? What if you were unsure, but didn’t pull away?What if, without that wished for word, I silently asked for you? What if our fingers locked in a lover’s grip, a grip that told you, “It is ok.” What if my ragged voice then whispered that the night is good, and the moonlight rippling the water, and you here beside me?
And what if a fish tickled your foot so that you jumped? What if I threw my arms around you, protectively? What if there was nervous laughter between us as we felt the warmth radiating from each other’s bodies? What if I touched those chill-bumps on your arms, rubbing my hands across them; gently, sweetly, like your mother rubbed them when you were a child and she thought you were sleeping? Your skin would be cool on my fingertips and in my palms, soft, so that I would not stop rubbing, so that I could not stop rubbing. And of course it would be dark; so dark that I could not see that at some point your eyes had closed.
Suppose I leaned in to kiss, pausing my lips next to yours, wondering, feeling your breath, pulling that breath inside before parting my lips to taste. You might even kiss me back, your pulse pounding your ears and drowning out those crickets.
And what if I laid you down under the swirling stars as the dock rocked and the waves lapped the sand? What if my hands explored you, and my lips followed... and what if you surrendered to them?
If you surrendered?
Could you love me then?
Hold the Ketchup
"No think you." I said stiffly.
He blinked and set down the red bottle. "Should I have asked for tartar?"
I shook my head. He sighed. I pushed my fries across the plate. He leaned back in his chair refusing to look at his double decker cheeseburger.
"You're food is getting cold." I said. He shrugged. I looked down.
"If you were gay you should have told me. Its been three years," he said softly.
"Its not like I cheated on you." I said. He couldn't meet my gaze.
"I just, three years is a commitment. If you never wanted to be in this relationship you should have told me instead of wasting our time." He said.
The words should have made me angry, but they only made me sad.
"I do want to be in this relationship." I said. "You're my best freind. The best boyfreind I ever had."
"A boyfreind who didn't know you didn't like ketchup." He bit his lip. He ran a knuckle across his eyes. "So I assume you want to break up?"
"I thought about it." I paused. "My parents think I should. They think I should be true to myself and all that."
My boyfreind inhailed. "Well, you should, be yourself, I mean. And if you think we won't work out. It's alright. I won't hold it against you. Maybe we could even hang out sometimes, as freinds."
"Are you freindzoneing me before I've broken up with you?" I asked wryly.
He half smiled. "Just trying to get ahead of the ball."
"In truth, I would miss that icecream shop. You know its expected to avoid the places you hung out with your ex." I said.
He nodded. "That's true. The icecream shop would be forever off limits... and the boardwalk, and the beach, and that one shopping mall you like, and my car. We drove to every prom in that car." He sighed. "I'll miss my car."
I laughted lightly. He went quiet again.
"So why did you kiss me? If you were, you know, not attracted to me."
"I am attracted to you... in some ways." I stuttered.
He held up his hands. "Whoa save the cryptic words for my crazy tarot card obsessed aunt." He was trying to laugh it off. I set my hand on his. The contact wasn't breathtaking. But it wasn't terrible either.
"I want to try and make this work." I said abruptly. "That's what I wanted to say. That's why I called you."
He looked up. "Really? What about.. being true to yourself?"
I laughted. "I feel like myself when I'm with you. So maybe I'm not crazy about kissing. Sometimes I think I'm axsexual or lesbian or pan or something I haven't found yet. But maybe some things are more important than kissing, you know? I like talking to you. And you're right, three years is a long time."
He leaned back in his chair and inhailed. Relief spread across his expression. "I used to have nightmares about you leaving me for some other, nicer, wealthier guy."
"I just remebered I have a date with Bill Gates' son tomorrow. So if that goes well..." I teased.
"Does he even have a son?" He asked.
"No idea." I stood and pulled my purse over my sholder. "I'll get the check."
His eyebrows raised. "No, I got it."
"No, you can pay for icecream next time." I said. "Let me get this."
"Look, if you're doing this becuase you feel bad about comunicating with me-" He started.
"No," I said. "I'm paying becuase I love you."
Love is gentle not to be hastened
If i went through and swallowed its pills
I may feel excessed.
Let me peer enough to look for you,
Let me clutch enough to hold on to you,
Let me suffice enough to whisper my dreams to you,
Let me fix enough to tell the world it's you,
Pretty let me
To make me fall in love with you.
let me tell you a story about the boy I fell in love with.
His voice whispers, gentle, sort of like the splatter of freckles along his nose. His eyes are seaweed green and they widen when ever you talk to him. He bites his lip, and he stutters, fidgeting, and further disrupting the tangled mess of black hair that flops around his eyes as he chokes out a name.
He smiles alot. He has a soft smile, and most of it's in his eyes, or the way his shoulders lift in a shrug and his nose scrunches a little. I smile when I see him smile, and he smiles more when he sees me smile, and somehow we get trapped in this endless cycle of gradually widening smiles and twinkling eyes and racing hearts. He waves goodbye. It's a smaller wave than the one he gives me at hello, its more timid, its gentle.
The first time I hear him laugh I almost cry at the sound. It's so free, when everything I've heard him say before sounds so practiced, rehearsed. And my heart breaks, because when he laughs, you can see the boy hiding beneath his shy waves and timid smiles.
The first time he makes me laugh my heart soars so high that my chest tightens, trying to keep it contained. I learn he really loves to make me laugh.
After that I start to learn alot about him.
I learn that his palms are always a little clammy.
I learn that he got his eyes from his father and his smile from his mother.
I learn he really loves strawberries.
I learn that he tastes like green jolly ranchers and smells a little like sunshine .
Eventually I learn that he loves me. It's tucked between a hesitant breath and one of those smiles I adore, and he smiles a whole new kind of smile, when my eyes drip tears as I tell him that I love him too.
I learn how green his eyes are when he cries,
and how strong he is in black.
I learn that he really hates funerals,
and that he misses his mother's brownies.
Years later I learn he bought a ring.
He waves at me when he see's me at the end of the aisle. His vows are whispered to me gently, eyes greener than green drink me in, and his nose scrunches when I say "I do".
I learn he is the worlds best father, and that our little girl has his laugh.
I learnt alot about him over the life we shared, but he only ever taught me one thing.
He taught me how to love.
“I never found a woman who could make me fall in love!” she overheard his conversation, drying a shot glass. The music is seeping in her ears but that —those words came through clear.
Her mind imagined him inside her. First, his fingers lodged into her soft pink squishy part.
When I’m not with you, my heart does not beat
I can’t focus
Until the next time I see you
Staring back at me in the mirror
A man who hangs on a cross, is sipping from the cup.
His head hangs low.
He reaped what we sowed.
Arms spread wide.
They plunged a spear deep into his side.
Water poured out.
Hell let out a celebratory shout.
Only if they knew..
It was all a coup.
Three days later, Jesus arose with the keys to death.
He created in me a new breath.
No longer a slave.
In Him, I can be brave.
My loving savior died for me.
So that I could be set free.
This is true love.
That Christ bled and died for us.
someone to love
You won't notice it at first.
No one ever does.
But one day,
Something will happen.
Not something extraordinary,
Or necessarily life-changing.
But it will force you to open your eyes
And realize what is truly in front of you.
For me it was the smile.
In everything we did,
I sought out his smile.
It was my way of reading him.
And when he said I love you
For that first time under the lifeguard tower
At 10pm on the beach,
It was the smile that made me believe him.
Even now, his smile is my key
To understanding him.
I noticed it on the night of homecoming
During the slow song when his eyes were locked in mine.
And in that moment, it gave me the confidence to say
I love you, too.
It's different for everyone.
Each person's memory different from the last.
But you'll know when it hits you.
Your emotions begin to line up with your body,
And you feel whole.
You don't look at anything the same.
You feel like you have a responsibility; a goal.
And you do everything in your power to run toward that goal,
No matter the tears, aches, and pains that get in the way.
You remind yourself you have someone to live for.
You have someone to love.
I see you. Through your own gates and defenses, I see you. For all that you are. With the knowledge of all your faults and circumstances I am in awe of you and the raw, unnurtued essence of you. You stand so far from me for fear that I might want you...and I do. I want you and all the disaster you bring. I want the impending doom of you because I know that I will love you even if it means giving you every breathe in my lung so that yours may breath. I will love you if it means I shall drain my body of every ounce of blood so that your heart may continue to beat inside your chest. I have to ensure that you will never need for sustenance, warmth, or love never again in this lifetime or hereafter. You must know that I was only granted existance to nurish and cherish you. Just let me show you that you don’t have to be afraid anymore. Let me show you what it means to be free of anguish and solidarity. Let me touch your heart with ever fiber of my being until we are one. I can love you, if only you would just let me.