When I Tell you I love you

When I tell you I love you,

Do not be taken aback by my sincerity

Do not mistake the passion on my tongue for malice

The fiery flick of a candle

A forest fire in a distant dream

Hard to distinguish without context

Even harder to extinguish

 

When I tell you I love you

I do it for myself as much as for you

Perhaps more than for you

I cannot keep such secrets you see,

The weight of a hidden love

I have lived in hiding for far too long

My soul is too old for those games

No closet can contain me.

 

When I tell you I love you

Do not mistake declaration for ultimatum

I will not beg you to love me

I do not beg

I will not mention what you will miss

If you can not already see it

I have high expectations for love, you see

Perhaps too high

But that doesn’t mean I plan to surrender.

I will never accept less than what my heart deserves

Nor will I condone convincing love

 

When I tell you I love you

You can say it back

You can say anything back

But you do not have to

I will not make you

Instead I will love you

I will love you with rainstorms over willow trees

I will love you with fireworks by a full moon

I will love you through fields of milkweed and mountain laurel

For this is how a poet loves

With every sensation or elation

Completely and recklessly,

Vulnerable.

 

When I tell you I love you

Chances are, you will already know

 

This poem is about: 
Me

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