i love her… …because she’s the only other person i’ve ever met, ever, who would pick the same super power as me. we would both want to be able to shapeshift into any animal. i’m not sure what that says about us.
i love her… …and i won’t lie: i love to spoil her. but there are months of wisdom in between buying a hand-painted swallow necklace and buying the limited edition red xbox 360 controller.
i love her… …so when she has a bad day, all i want to do is hold her, ask why, help her forget, help her smile. but i love her, so when she has a bad day, i know to leave her alone, back off, and realize that i can’t comfort her through some things.
i love her… …and those split second fissures where she offers half-understood secrets. the hotel room, seventeen floors above any waking life, two hours to sunrise city traffic. i kissed her tears, silent and small, not to condemn and remove them, but to show i find them precious.
i love her… …because she’s always right. i don’t know how she does it. not in that like ‘HA! i’m right’ way. but she just so happens to always be correct. bet on her trivia skills. i would. actually, i have.
i love her… …because she knows every word to every song. she sings along, just soft enough to be drowned out by the stereo, but not so soft that i can’t hear it. i sing with her, but with less of the right words.
i love her… …and her cleverness. i adore that college infuriates her. too simple for her complexity, too tedious for her reality.
i love her… …and the art she makes. her style is a harsh mix; gradeschool idealism with darkerside symbolism. checkers and flatlines, vitals and halos. childlike, disturbing. for my birthday she gave me one of her pieces. it was my favourite gift.
i love her… …but i didn’t mean to. i was so jaded, then. so i said some things in order to keep her at arm’s length, then. yet there she was asleep in my arms that night, Eternal Sunshine on in the background, and something in her closed eyes held me to her.
i love her… …and how she doesn’t care what she looks like. her beauty is effortless. and undeniable. it radiates outward; she doesn’t see the glow. moth to her flame, she illuminates the darkness, a promise like a lighthouse that guides me home.
i love her… …because when i hurt, she knows how to handle me. the softness of her eyes cradles my world in those fragile moments. only with a girl so dangerous could i feel so safe.
i love her… …even in the small things, like the first day of spring, an early text from her to say, “it’s fucking snowing again?!” yes my love, it’s snowing. fuck.
i love her… …and when she’s sick all i want to do is drop everything and bring her chicken soup, even though she probably hates chicken soup, and even though i have like, 80 other things to do.
i love her… …because when i bring over a $50 bottle of vodka in the shape of a crystal skull, she knows to laugh. but i love her more because then she puts it in her freezer next to the chicken fingers and takes pictures.
i love her… …’and her little dog, too.’ waking up to a face full of 45lb puppy is somehow absolutely wonderful; the dog finds the barest inch of space between her and i, nuzzles in, puts her paws around me like a hug. we greet the day laughing, covered in dog kisses.
i love her… …and she isn’t the first, but she didn’t have to be. unknowingly, she shows me to myself, challenges my truths, and the pressure forms me into something both tougher and more beautiful.
i love her… …but for the first time, i feel like i wish i were someone else. someone who could give her that normal life she wants. how soon is too late? which chamber. russian roulette. barrel to my jaw, life in a countdown, i just want one summer in her eyes.
i love her… …and when we kiss, it still feels the same as the first time, the magnetism, that pull, the way my stomach drops clear out, down to the floor, and she catches me, my breath, and with both hands holds me from falling harder.
i love her… …and the way that her sneakers always match her outfit. particularly formidable when paired with a baseball hat and those hips, those eyes, when she dances with me.
i love her… …even though she has shown me the red lines of difference between the sexes. the sting of inadequacy, acute as razors, rivals my high school years. she doesn’t mean to rip my stitches and ask me to reheal. but that does not stop the bleeding.
i love her… …even when it’s hardest. ‘it’s just different,’ she says to me, and i can understand but i can’t know. i can’t be where those lines are or try to bridge those gaps. i would brave the chasm but i don’t know how. i wasn’t born a boy. even changing that now wouldn’t help.
i love her… …even though i know i’m on borrowed time. one day she’s going to wake up and this will all be over. when we were first intimate, that’s how it felt as she came to me in 2am darkness: like i was dreaming. it was surreal; i kept expecting to wake up. instead, i’m still dreaming.
i love her… …down to her bones, the white hollows where she never rests, never fully. the line of her jaw, her clavicle, her hip, high art. there is a reason i give her only white roses. ‘to carry white roses, never red.’ bones and not hearts withstand time.
i love her… …because watching her face as she recites the movie playing in the background is infinitely better than watching the movie itself.
i love her… …and i remember first thinking this as she was looking at me, swollen through her tears, as we waited for the subway back to midtown in mid-September. i could love a girl with that much emotion, i thought to myself. i had no idea.
i love her… …so when she tells me, ‘don’t forget about me,’ it’s all i can do to smile and hold her instead of say, ‘how can i forget you; you’re always on my mind.’ on my mind? flay me and find her coursing like an adrenaline feed to my muscles.
i love her… …which is why my heart stops, once, every time i read her name. even if the text isn’t referring to her. the smallest of butterfly wings, folding, once, to muffle unexpected excitement.
i love her… …so when i miss her, i wear her clothes. i’ve acquired a small wardrobe through the months. a sweater, two tee shirts, two pairs of pants. she’s not getting any of them back. collateral damage.
i love her… …and so each morning it is harder and harder to tear myself away from the curve of her neck as she sleeps.
i love her… …because she lets me throw her in the snow even when she doesn’t want to get out of the car. then she makes snow angels. impressions of halos.
i love her… …because every day is a surprise. what luck. to wake and she be there. and surprises of mood, of depth, shifting. i never know what might happen. all quiet before the storm. in admission of my own flaws, i am never bored. i always know why i am there. i wake up and i am lucky.