i love her… …eyelashes, the soft dark length of them, pressed light against her cheek, especially as she sleeps. the smooth serenity in her face in midmorning hues is fleeting and precious. i do not know if her dreams are better than her nightmares, but i can hope.
i love her… …so when she had said it all was too much, i just learned to say things softer. and when that is too much, i say things silently, with just my heartbeat. i am learning how to love her. it is worth the effort.
i love her… …subtle tendencies. the last time i slept in her bed, it was unmade, no sheets. it had been like that for two weeks; a combination of finals and life. last night, i was too tired to make up my bed. i slept on my bare mattress and smiled.
i love her… …though she says that she is not what i see. not as bright, as beautiful, as bold. she denies, worried that i don’t know the whole of her. she may not tell me everything, but i understand; i won’t be let down: i put her on no pedestal and we’re both on level ground.
i love her… …so-called bad habit. it doesn’t fade her, so in the meanwhile, i like to watch the smoke lilt and curl around her face, earthy cloud caresses that loose the tension skyward from her lungs.
i love her… …because she’s different, she knows she is, and it laces her breath and her words. because for all the reasons and all the words, it comes down to something undefinable, inexplicable; no reasons, no words.
i love her… …but when she’s aching, she goes it alone. i wish it weren’t always so. nothing she says could make me run, and yet, she can feel so far away. at least she knows i’m here, ready to cross that distance.
i love her… …so whenever i eat an egg bagel, i think of riding shotgun down 111 in her car after late night mornings, windows down in the spring sunlight streaming, one eye on the road, the other on the backseat puppy. a cream cheese catastrophe, a hand-in-hand memory.
i love her… …even at her worst. though rare, she can be selfish, forgetful, insensitive, and stubborn as hell. in truth, i like that she’s stubborn. i adore her disaster, dance with her dangers. she is entitled to them. if i can’t love the worst in her, i don’t deserve her best.
i love her… …so i don’t want to ruin this. i bite my tongue to stomach fear; i know its taste in my mouth, its texture at the back of my throat. copper and cotton. but i love her more than i fear the future, so i cannot let it choke me.
i love her… …because we both appreciate similar music. i had missed being able to share songs, concerts. when we first met, she flipped through my cd book. i was so impressed that she knew Damone.
i love her… …though that may be hard to swallow. ‘how can you like such a dark person?’ she asked once. i want her darkness; i do not edit it with nightlights, false amenities. i am not afraid of the dark.
i love her… …even when she’s overworked, tired, and “looks terrible.” i don’t notice. i told her she could be an insomniac for eight days and she’d still be the most beautiful girl i’ve ever seen. and it would be true.
i love her… …so when she balls herself upright beside me, doubled over her knees, i cradle her around. one hand finds her knots, her furious muscles, and works at them, firm and gentle, until she sleeps. even then i don’t let go.
i love her… …heartbeat, as i rest my head on her chest. in the game on-screen, i’m dead, so she continues on still trigger-happy. happy, i’m alive with the rounds of rhythm i hear through her rib cage.
i love her… …arms, relaxed to reach around me, hugging me as close as i hug her, head on neck on head on neck, the grass soft wet with late night dew. my arms empty never hold as much air as the breath i exhaled then.
i love her… …and the way she talks, so self-assured and obvious. she’s got a mouth on her all cuss and sass. but her reticent thoughts are fierce and quiet: they sound different tripping off her tongue.
i love her… …tattoos; her neck, her wrist. i woke up to her nape for days and days, for days and days she held my hand. secretly, it makes me really angry that her mum doesn’t like them: what they represent is so important. i felt proud to be there when we got her ankles inked.
i love her… …and that i’ve gotten to see all four seasons shine off her skin. the trees have changed and so have we, colours ring us older. red hot heat and butterflies, a refrain from last summer, replay.
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.