i want to love you how you deserve—
open, unreserved, unyielding,
but the bruises on your neck are
still so very fresh under my fingers.
it’s too much to watch you wake up
and turn over, wondering if you were
expecting someone else next to you.
i can’t be them, and you wouldn’t want
me to, but how can i lay here and
not wish it had been me to love you
out loud instead?
somewhere i got lost in the blankets,
and poorly-hidden smiles, but i want
to be yours, yours, yours always,
and i’m scared to death of failing.
i’m trying, i’m trying, i’m trying
to whisper in your ears just how
wonderful i find you to be, with
no expectations or remorse,
but then your eyes catch the light,
and i am thunderstruck at
how easily you can show vulnerability,
when i am merely a statue in a garden:
beautiful, but cold to the touch.
i woke up at 5 a.m. this morning
and wanted to kiss you until
i couldn’t remember who else’s lips
i had ever met.
and i used to wonder if i kissed
each freckle down your spine
until they became the constellations
you love so much,
that maybe you could love me back,
despite my shaky hands and
damaged lungs —
your eyes remind me of the
first flakes of snow in december—
and i am wonderstruck.
the truth is that i’ve never
been so scared of anyone,
and your fingers ghost across
my hips like day dreams in july.
i used to think not kissing you
was the bravest thing i would
ever have to do, but now i know
this above all else:
i am yours.
last night i dreamt of you saving me again and again,
but it was mostly just from myself.
i guess i never knew what genuine was until i met you,
and i think of your cold fingers on my mine
or the feeling of your teeth against my neck,
and i wish i deserved even a fraction
of the kindness you’ve shown me.
you lean into me, and i’ll never tell,
but that’s the only place
i feel at home anymore—
by your side.
i think you’re the craziest person i’ve ever met,
but you’re still saner than i can ever hope to be,
and i want you to be the wind in
my sails on the high seas—
we could collapse empires together;
but instead i’ll curl up next to you,
wishing i could say all this out loud
when you ask me what i’m thinking about,
and when i kiss your cheek as you say goodbye,
i’ll pretend it wasn’t the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do
to let you go.
you told me last night:
‘you’re a gorgeous person to me,’
and i blushed and said thank you—
but then i went home and cried
for two hours.
how can you say such nice things,
when you have no idea who
i think i am—
but you still take my face in your hands
and whisper it over and over again
until i have no choice but to listen.
your lips on my cheek is the nicest
thing anyone has ever given me,
and i want nothing more than to
build you a latter to the stars so
you can live among them and be happy.
instead i can only hand you bad coffee
and even worse jokes, but i hope you
'only true beauty finds other true beauty,'
and you are so very beautiful to me.
it’s 2 a.m. and i can’t stop thinking about
how happy you must be right at this
very second, warm in the arms of someone
who was lucky enough to love you out loud—
it’s so stupid to wake up every morning
with your name on my lips and your lips
on my mind, but i’ve never been good at
giving up on lost causes;
there is something in your bones which
calls me home; like the fresh buds of spring,
i’ve never felt more comfortable anywhere,
and your fingers ghost over my neck
like you don’t know that it takes every piece
of courage i’ll never have to not kiss you.
it’s like burning alive, but i can’t feel anything,
and i wish the rain outside didn’t remind me
of the way your hands feel on my back,
heavy and light at the same time—
see here’s the thing about you and me:
you’ll get whatever you want,
and i’ll just take whatever i deserve.
maybe i’ll live a hundred lifetimes and
it wouldn’t make a bit of difference,
i’d still dream of that night you held my
hand and pointed out orion’s belt,
but i couldn’t look at anything except you.
i know why you love the stars so much now,
you are one and the same:
distant, untouchable, and powerful enough
to make men race to get to you first.
i never stood a chance.
i finally understand why eve ate the apple;
it aches to want and want and want
something so forbidden—
i’m slipping, i’m slipping, i’m slipping—
i have to taste you or starve to death.
there is no serpent to test me;
i am already lost.
no punishment can be worse than this:
watching your mouth and knowing
that i may never taste it without falling.
i wonder if i will go to hell for
sympathizing with the devil;
what hurt worse: falling from heaven,
or being betrayed by the one he loved?
breathe my name against my neck
until i forget that you aren’t mine to kiss;
i don’t care, i don’t care, i don’t care—
i’m drowning in you,
and i don’t even want to be saved.
the first girl i ever loved had irises
the exact same shade as the ocean in july—
bright and beautiful, and i never wanted
to gaze into anyone else’s ever again;
her fingers stretched out, long and slender,
smudged with the ink or graphite or pastels
of whatever she loved at that moment,
and i longed for her to wrap them around
my own, until i no longer remembered what
clean hands looked like anymore.
the second girl i ever loved had hair, which
glittered under the sunlight, a gold that could
blind me if i stared too long.
i wanted nothing more than to run my
fingers through it, memorizing the way
it swayed when she laughed at my
poorly timed jokes—
i never got the chance to try;
i never got close enough to show my card—
and why should i?
i, who can only destroy beautiful things
by loving them too much.
they were never mine to covet;
and they remained much more beautiful for
having never been touched by the likes