your kiss

tastes like fresh cold sweet tangerines in july:
explosive.

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salt.

she shows me how her eyes hold water
and tells me he is an ocean.

i ask her why she doesn’t sail away.

she sighs.
rubs salt between her thighs.
takes off her eyes and rests them by the window sill.

maybe the weather will change, she tells me.

the wind blows and blows
there is a salt hurricane in her little room.

somewhere, her cat cries and pees into the bundle of horoscopes
by the door.

i tell her people don’t change.
i tell her rubbing salt on herself won’t make him love you.
i tell her she is not a lighthouse and he is not a lost ship.

she gathers her cat, she opens her legs and says he will come.

leave, she says.
get out.

to love someone.

when you’ve loved tigers and sharks and wasps long enough

it’s hard to believe there are people who want to do right by you

you start reading braille and learning hand signs and foreign languages

because when you’ve heard more lies than truth, even his soft words

make you want to carve out a little space inside yourself and

decipher if it could ever be true.

you start stopping at traffic signls when they say go.

you leave behind words and explanations at the door.

you wait for the bite, the blinding pain, you wonder when it’ll strike.

you keep counting every second of laughter because- when will it end.

you live within fears.

and then one day you realize: snakes and tigers and wasps

have never killed you.  and you realize that you will always be okay

in the end; that no man could ever make you feel belittled and small

and hurt without your consent, and with time.

you realize too that sometimes the hand that promises would love you

means it.

you know that because in the middle of the night they still reach for you

and draw you in close. they fill the gaps. they hold you at your best and

at your worst and they tell you that fairytales sometimes do have happy endings

and you believe them.

you.

i was so afraid to love till i met you;
till you showed me how easy love should be,
how i could lie awake at night, not running off to write
poetry, because i already found poetry in your mouth,
in the way you look at me sometimes, in the way
you pull me in so close to you the entire world blurs
and im surrounded by your scent, your words,
your taste on my lips, my taste on yours,
and finally: there is

peace

and ive run away so many times
but when you are not here holding me and warming me
when the absence of you plummets through me over
and over; so acutely, so stubbornly it hurts,

i miss you

ive finally found peace in you
in those mornings when i could have sworn i felt like
every burden had been lifted, every fear put on hold for a while
with you, things feel so right and so beautiful and so simple
and i am such an idiot to let this go, because all i want
is

you

but how do i tell you this,
when i am this scared, of hurt. i live in calendars and schedules
and little checkered boxes because messy things frighten me
because i am scared closing my eyes for a second would mean
i would fall off the diving board, into infinities of disappointment
because i am scared i’ll have to say goodbye to you too

and how do i do that

when your touch paralyzes me,
when the thought of us sweetens every sadness, makes things so
worthwhile, makes the days a little happier, makes me want to
lose myself in you over and over again, in your dizzying laugh,
your sweet eyes, the way you have your little freak-outs
and all i see is this boy ive tried so hard to run away from

but i can’t

because ive run out of places to run to
and you are always here.

you push away the things you love most.

you think he doesn’t love you? think again. people don’t spend an awful amount of time deliberately hurting the ones they care about, trying to convince them that they do not care. you push away the things you love most.

insecure people with little self-confidence do not think they deserve you- for whatever you do for them. they would talk themselves out of love , out of vulnerability, a million times. and they will build a protective shield of ego and pride around them though inside they still yearn you but they could never admit to even themselves that they would miss you, that they are a little bit in love with you too.

but please don’t spend an eternity trying to love a tiger. love a tiger at a distance. you cannot fix them with love. they need to want to be fixed. they should want to be changed. so don’t keep burning yourself up in the process of loving them. don’t build expectations and desires around steel hearts.

its nice to think that we can fix people but that’s a myth. don’t spend the next five, six years chasing after someone who burns you every single time you get close, and only realize this sad fact when you are chugging down bottles to forget his entire existence at 2 am. you cannot change people.

you can only show them what they are missing out on by being so closed. they’ll see your sparkly eyes and open wonder and uncontained excitement over Christmas presents. they will secretly admire at the way your laugh twinkles and then explodes into bursts of happiness, at the way that you love yourself so much despite every inch of imperfection they see that soon enough even they would have to scrutinize hard to find those imperfections. they’ll see the way you are there for people, the way you live in their hearts. they’ll see that when you walk into a room, its like magic the way the entire room lights up suddenly, with all your happiness, your laugh, your jokes, the way you are brimming and pouring over with love and love and so much love. they would quietly admire the way you seem to earn a special place in everyone’s hearts, that the reputation he has tried so hard to build and maintain by caring about what other people think is like a prison, and the one you have- when you are not even aware of what people think of you, you treat everyone with the same love and openness and non-judgment that you shower on yourself- is freedom. that when he is with you, he can be like a small child and do stupid things and forget the universe for a while and stop trying to be so perfect. with you, he is himself after a long long time and he is free.

so my dear, this is your job. love yourself so much that you are simply overflowing with joy and compassion. be excited over the smallest things. be thankful. believe in love. remain hopeful and diligent and chase after your dreams, not people. people should never be chased after: those who love you will always gravitate toward you and stay. you don’t have to convince people of your worthiness. just be there and care. the rest, is up to them.

<3.

finally:

how can these twenty-six letters
carry all the love i have for you. how do i make you feel
an inch of this gigantic universe you’ve built in me.

i miss you.
i miss you so much that it physically hurts not talking to you.

yet i do not know where to begin.
where our talks used to be carefree, long, simple, now they are
strained, soft, sad. this distance finally feels like the million miles it is,
the familiar feeling of you in the next room suddenly faded.

you used to make me laugh.

you used to say those special sacred words
and i’d beam and light up like a Christmas tree for weeks. i’d dance
listening to our favorite songs and daydream in locked rooms
and keep those words like a shrine in my heart.

i could repeat them to strangers on the street,
you are my favorite author and my best friend.

why does being in love with you hurt this much?

i just want to pack all this love i have for you in a suitcase
so this hurt doesn’t feel like it’s infiltrating, oozing into the cracks
of my soul. your words have lost their meaning, dearest.
i am not that special.

i am not the girl you miss at 2pm when you are swamped
with work. or the reason why you’d anxiously check your phone
every hour. i am not the girl you think about when a love song
comes on the radio or the girl you want to kiss more than anything
else in the world. i’m not the reason you smile to yourself
and i’m not the name that makes you tender and safe and glad.

it feels like the fuse box has gone off and now the only person
i could have depended on is the reason why i am sitting in the dark.
i miss you. and i wish my heart didn’t feel so blocked, aching and
full of words it can’t get out.

i thought i could love you from a distance without attachments
but i can’t help feeling so small and helpless and hurt. when one day
you are going to tell me about her and how you kissed her and it felt
like everything you’ve wanted in a lifetime was in those few minutes
with her, i hope i’ll be somewhere far off in a universe where
it would have felt like the ache of missing every train in my life.

maybe i need some time to get there, to the other side when i can
truly let you go. when i fell in love with you, it was for everything you were;
with every twenty six letters of the alphabet that we shared

but now it feels like i need more,
like i need more letters so you’d understand the dull aching pain
of loving someone who doesn’t love you back.