A Letter to Twee

I should tell you that the adoration in your eyes
Shines brighter than any I’ve ever known
But just like the boys before you
Whose fumbling hands couldn’t wait
To let go
You, too, will fade.

And when your mouth presses against mine,
God, I can feel you smiling,
And I can sense your lips
Spelling out the letters for ‘perfection,’
But you should know that the last one to call me perfect
Was the last boy I loved.

And he glowed the same way you do,
Fingers tracing every heavy bone in my body,
Until I swore he would peel me apart
And wrap himself in my sodden layers.
I would’ve let him.

When you study my face and I can’t meet your eye,
Please, don’t think I feel nothing.
Please know that pen and ink is the only way I can ever hope to express my thoughts,
Because every time I want to say to you that
I’m afraid,
My words are swallowed by the darkness in my throat,
And I can spit nothing but weathered stones into your expectant palm.

But even though my voice is bound with silent thread,
The thoughts inside still beat against my skull and SCREAM
Until they can bleed into notebooks
And drip onto margins.

I only wish fewer of those thoughts were about the past.
I know I joke about how winter’s touch turns my skin ghostly pale,
But my face is not the only haunting thing about winter.
I’m sorry you don’t know this.

I should tell you that from a young age,
I’ve dreamed of running away.
Not because I was unhappy,
But because I knew there was so much more out there
Than the puddles on my front porch.
Especially when even those small pools were portals to a world more backwards than our own.
Those puddles never took me any further than the washing machine and a warm bath.

The passenger seat of your car hasn’t yet left me as cold as that rainwater did,
But my mother has whispered words of warning into my ear since birth,
And I’ll never forget the first day I found myself crippled by salt and sandpaper.

The stubble on your chin is not that sandpaper,
And your hands offer no salt.
Not yet.
I wish I could tell you.


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