I Know You Told Me Never to Write About You


You are careful. You wash the raspberries one by one with your hands.
I am reckless; I eat the unwashed ones straight out of the box as you scowl:
“You know they recalled these last month for contaminants, right?”
I smile at you, berry bitten between teeth. I am invincible, I always say.
You are calculated. Waited four months to first kiss me,
And only when another girl started flirting– “I go slow,”
You say, “So I won’t hurt anyone. So I can be sure.”
You’ve been hurt by people’s recklessness before and so have I; still
I am impulsive. Fuck me now even when you don’t love me;
I’ll pretend for an hour that you do
. But you made me wait.
We sat in the doctors and they drew blood,
To make sure I wouldn’t give you anything left from anyone else;
I never did but I gave you so much more of me; you are crazy but
You have never been crazy about me, at least not like this,
This is a pull stronger than gravity; it’s drawing me across the Atlantic;
I never saw myself so far away but now I feel homesick in my own house.

The night of our first kiss, I picked you up from your week-long trip in the city;
You hugged me like it had been much longer and nestled your head into my chest;
Brushed your lips against my neck like I was ice you were afraid to melt.
You held my hand in the car on the drive home from the train station;
We both knew something felt different but didn’t say it; I was afraid it would break,
Like walking on a freshly frozen lake; you were feeling it out;
You were afraid we’d fall; you took small steps where I wanted leaps, for
I’d been waiting four months to feel your skin on mine with purpose.
It was January and I got there early and kept the car running so it would be warm;
I took deep breaths that stung my throat like menthol cigarettes,
And remembered when I used to smoke them, before I knew you.
I rubbed my hands together as I waited so if we touched you would feel nothing but heat.
I was so nervous I shook and you could feel it in my fingertips; “relax,” you said, “it’s okay,”
When you kissed me in your bedroom; our snow boots were squeaky against the floor,
We struggled out of our coats as holding each other warmed us up,
Laughed at each other; you were my best friend, and never had I been so glad for waiting.

Never had I felt like laughing between kisses was such a pretty sound;
That winter was naked nights, long talks at two am, homemade brunches in bed,
Mexican food and coffee shops and library days with kissing breaks in the bathrooms;
Soft handholding under tables; long drives around town with fingers woven together;
Yours were always cold, mine were always so hot. We tangled together
Like your headphone wires shared between us when we walked to classes singing,
When no one else could hear the music. I loved our little world between those cords.
You were never good with speaking but had a way with words on paper.
When you asked me to be yours and couldn’t speak the words out loud,
You wrote them down and watched me read them; shaking like I had in January.
The first “I love you” was a text message sent across the dinner table.
I remember the snow melting under our feet; that winter we melted into each other;
I know life carries a sharp blade and I know there’s an ocean between us now, but
Your voice still sounds beautiful in my head when I read your words aloud,
When I miss you most I wrap myself in thoughts of what we may do, like twisted sheets.
I don’t know when or where or what we’ll be but I like to think we will.


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