i love her… …mind. the way her synapses fire, the method of her thoughts. i like to read her writing because it brings me nearer to that process. she has such a way of telling stories. because she has such a way of thinking.
i love her… …and some concerts just aren’t the same without her. i’m singing ‘pull the trigger and the nightmare stops’ and her voice isn’t there with mine for her favourite CoCa song. it’s just me and everyone else fighting to breathe, fighting to sing, and she’s stuck at work.
i love her… …and how, when i used to have a really bad dream, and i’d wake up crying, not knowing, she was there instinctively, even in sleep, her arm out, comforting me.
i love her… …and it’s been two weeks since i last slept next to her. oh my god, it just hit me as hard as that morning. my empty arms, her negative back, no neck to curl into, it’s unbearable.
i love her… …so i want to be worthy of her. i want to understand her rather than be frustrated by her, when i am. to choose to always come at her from a place of love and not of fear. i want to be good enough for the light that burns behind her eyes.
i love her… …and her ability to be ridiculous. last summer the stadium played the song every home game. the notes would blare out and, in a sudden childlike frenzy, she and the rest of the staff sprinted to home plate seating, full throttle enthusiasm for the ‘cha cha slide.’
i love her… …and there is no other girl i’d rather be with. keep your celebrity skins. she’s more real and more beautiful than i could ever hope to see again in my life.
i love her… …because when we kiss, in that moment, there is not one thing else in the world i can think of.
i love her… …and that everything is so uncertain. she’s the revolver, i’m the bullet, we’re russian roulette. survival based on chances, probable extremes. i have never lived more in the moment. i am thankful every day and every day is gorgeous.
i love her… …even knowing she is too tired to love anyone. tired in the sincerest sense. she wakes up exhausted in my arms and it’s just from living. i take her as-is and i don’t ask for more; i won’t be the next person to take everything she’s got, leaving her empty.
i love her… …even though she thinks she’s going batshit crazy. i’ve been there, i know those walls coal black closing in before break out. not the same walls, sure, but close. she may be crazy but it’s beautiful and that’s part of what it takes to make me stay.
i love her… …because of everything she’s seen, not in spite of it. a tough love girl afraid to shatter completely; a shell of herself inside a shell of protection. where she was broken, she is slowly mended through with gold. strong and shining.
i love her… …so i feel so helpless when she’s crying, hurting so badly, and there’s nothing i can do but give her the room she needs to do it. for some things, there are no words. some things can’t be made better. some things just won’t change, not ever.
(moment of silence…)
i love her… …because she’s inspiring. i have been in more serious relationships that, for all their romance, never made me want to create anything; never made me want to write or sing or scream; never made me need to love out loud like this.
i love her… …and i want to take all her pain. her memories hold her more tightly than my arms ever could. sometimes i squeeze her hard and close to try to suffocate the hurt, but i’m not yet strong enough to kill it.
i love her… …even though she says she doesn’t know who she is. the clarity in her brown eyes is all i need to see. she deserves that. someone who looks at her and always sees her. she’s a girl of shifting things, yet whatever she shifts into, that core of her remains.
i love her… …even if she is slow to open up. i have sat beside her silent sadness and watched television instead of going out. and i have slept on the floor outside her locked bedroom door in winter, vigilant, until morning. and i would do it all again, still.
i love her… …because she is so brave. she walks dark roads without flashlights. no lamp posts, little moonlight. things that were hard made her harder. and i know this, us, whatever we are, it isn’t easy for her. still one more hardship i can’t appreciate enough.
i love her… …and the noises she makes sometimes when she sleeps. they’re cat-quiet hushes of sounds. at times i hear them, wake lightly, and make them softly back. i don’t know what i’m saying in our language, but i know it’s worth repeating.
i love her… …but i’m so afraid that we won’t make it through May. horrors and pressures make mountains this month. everything loses lustre and life for her; everything looks expendable. between that and her family’s disapproval, love may not be enough.
i love her… …and more and more, i’m thinking i don’t have to say it. i started out not wanting to tell her, but perhaps, in the looking, i’ve discovered i don’t need to. i tell her every day with how i treat her, speak to her, hold her. and if that’s not enough, i don’t know what is.
i love her… …and that we say goodnight. i remember the first time, before the habit. she went camping; i was visiting a friend in south Jersey. on the futon watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith late that night, i received: “just wanted to say goodnight…” hook, line, and sinker, sweetness.
i love her… …but i don’t always mean to buy her things; i don’t go looking. it’s just that when something smacks me upside the head and says, ‘she would like this,’ then i must respond, ‘yes, she may smile,’ and so i lay it at her feet like a hunting cat with a bird, all instinct.
i love her… …nails. i used to think they’d be a threat to us, but i’ve actually come to adore them, all the bright colours, changing like Clementine’s hair. and i adore when she runs them along my skull, trails of shivers.
i love her… …though i hate that life has taught her not to make wishes. not on clocks, not on stars. that’s alright. for every one she won’t say, i’ll make three. and i’ll wish them all on the star she keeps inside her.
i love her… …and the ways she makes me smile. like surprising me by picking me up with brownie mix in the back seat. i really hate brownies, for the record. but she knows the ones she bakes are the best i’ve ever had. what do i care that they come from a box?
i love her.. …and like so many others, to so many others, i have promised not to hurt her. i won’t use caring hands to hunt her, to hit where it hurts best. unlike so many others, i keep my promises, no matter the cost.
i love her… …and the change isn’t conscious. i notice it when a girl i’ve crushed on for two years shows blatant interest and i just can’t care. i notice it when i leave the dance club realizing i don’t know what a single other girl there looked like. she’s the only one i see.
i love her… …and that what we have is simple. i think she’s afraid i need it to be so much more. and me, i just want everything to stay as it is. each breath of mine is spent gasping suspension hoping nothing changes.
i love her… …because she moves me. i haven’t been moved like that since i was sixteen. she reminds me what it feels like to feel, showing me that i’d forgotten.