Then, Because


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If I Fall In Love, This Is To You

            I’m ready for all the classics, all the love clichés. 

            I’m patient; willing to wait for it. But if it's you, don't make me wait. Don’t test the patience that I have so graciously invited you to indulge in.

            If, or when, just don’t let it be a when, my crazy Puerto Rican side comes out it would be in your best interest to apologize with little to no grace period. Frankly, whether or not they find your body in the absence of an apology will be an if

            For the sake of questions, or favors, or other indulgences, let me change. I do it a lot, like when I get dressed. Or when I’m charged or upset. Change is the best friend to emotion because emotion is fleeting. I change when I need it and that’s always. Change comes with time and time can't be defined without always. 

            If only for a moment, I’ll get lost in the promise of you. It whispers to me while looking me in the eyes. The promise of you always asks for permission, even when I have given it indefinitely. The promise of you stands in front of me and is willing to pick me up, getting leverage from beneath my ass cheeks, when my eyes get tired but mostly when you want to give me a kiss that means a little more than the ones you give me in the morning. The promise of you will hand me my glasses in the morning after I kiss you so I don’t miss the second time around. The promise of you will no longer find a home between the sheets of paper I write in…

            I can’t sing, but I’ll sew hymns to your t-shirt pocket in the car.

            When we touch we’ll hold time and dance in our endless night. Time is gold and feels like velvet. When we hold it our fingers are interlaced over it and the fibers buzz against our palms. Time is excitable, yet calm between us. It guides our steps into the endless night. We won’t sleep but, for now, we won’t need to.

      So, let’s fuck, then we can flip the bed and make love on the ceiling. Make love. We’ll grow it between us. I’ll start a garden with you. There will be microgreens. Then lavender to supplement the weed. We'll create a landscape native to ourselves because yards don't support the kind of biodiversity our love can make.

            I know you’re going to hurt me. You'll do it with or without intention, with or without invectives, and I might make you feel guilt or shame for hurting me and you might need comfort, or care, or compassion, instead. And I might not know it at the moment, so I hope I have the opportunity to give them to you after. We will find respite, we will find forgiveness, for we will put in the work to ground ourselves within them.

            And I know, believe me, I know that I’m going to hurt you, too. I don’t plan on letting the fact that I love you excuse me from hurting you. I’m not going to let the want for you to be in my life forever dictate or excuse the amount of effort and communication I put in with you. You shouldn’t either. And I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’ll change and is there anything I can do to make it better?

            And when we’re finally blinded by the same sun we’ll let go of our endless night, relinquish our hold on time. All can happen once again and I won’t need my glasses to see it. Time will float again around us and we’ll breathe it in. I’ll swallow the night and it will find a home in my lungs. It will be my favorite dream.

            When I let go of your hand for the last time I will squeeze as my fingers slide off of yours because it was good. We were good. I want to hold on. The bed will stir and crawl back down where gravity beckons.

            If only for a moment, let me be your heart to hold.

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Mad Halle

This is so beautiful and touching

If I Forgive You

     There are so many yous to consider. There are so many forgivenesses to make. I wish I could say forgiveness had more traction, that the result of enacting forgiveness had a more tangible consequence. I wish the consequence was a flower blooming from my fingertips. I don’t want my forgiveness to perpetuate your bad habits, rather, I want them to give you the benefit of the doubt. And I do for you, and you, and you.

     My forgivenesses are small, often unstable. For reasons of traction and for benefits of the doubt. It’s not because the forgivenesses cost all that much. In the moments that are great with you, and you, and you, I feel elation, even contentment. The moments I must forgive cost too much. And they’re always the conversations I’m forced to have, forgivenesses I’m forced to make, bridges I’m forced to build. Is it selfish to ask, why me? I’m not counting my pain. I know your bullshit and your bullshit asks that I build the bridges while you sit on the other side with a shot of tequila as my reward. My bullshit accepts the shot no matter how parched I am. Your bullshit is every text you refuse to send. It leverages your authority against me. It has called me a coward. It has keywords, too. They sound like boundaries but function as ultimatums. They’re not, “I’d rather not talk about this,” they’re, “Don’t test me,” with every implication of or else. But I’m too good of a student and that’s my bullshit; I can’t help but see how far or else leads.

     I think about how your apology, one I wouldn’t have received if I didn’t reach out, was framed as, “I want to apologize,” and I wanted to ask you for what. You continued, “for hurting you.” It singed the hairs in my nose.  Mostly, the forgiveness is small and unstable because I think about you every day. I forgive a kiss or two because that’s the only currency between us, an economy of kisses. They were something I savored, even the ones I told you confused me. But the ones that still tickled me in my confusion, the ones that still felt good I almost feel ashamed for letting feel good, letting tickle me, and fit so well on my tongue. I forgive myself for the shame.  You never asked for a kiss, only gave it. I have trouble forgiving unbalance. Do you think about me every day?

     That’s the ultimate bullshit. That reliance, that need for an answer. And so the opposite of what forgiveness entails because forgiveness is for yourself. So, I forgive you and my body becomes a garden. I’ll let you dig your own grave, fulfill your own prophecy, push me out of your life. I’m a spiteful person and I know that’s my bullshit. I will plant myself on your grave so nobody knows where to find you.

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