An open letter to the next boy I fall for:
How do I resist the temptation to be loved by you?
You stepped right on and through the welcome mat
of my life as if the deadbolt lock was dismantled the second
I heard you say my name.
It was the sensation of feeling like
the very foundation of
the walls I’ve welded around my heart
were mere crumbling sand castles.
I begin to make theories and calculations
and thoroughly unreliable formulas,
the depth of the dimple in your left cheek
is directly proportional
to the curve of your smile
some sort of science
behind everything that is you,
behind the reasons why
I find myself unfolding at the seams
undoing everything I’ve understood
about the looming possibility that
I would be spending
sleeping in a bed made only for one.
I tell myself that the entire notion
and commotion of romance
A recipe and potion
for googly eyes and soft touches.
But then there are days when
I look at you and
every love song that I wish was written about me
starts playing in an endless loop.
“I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind
that I’ve put down in words,
how wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”
And then I get scared,
scared that I have run out of pretty words to say to you,
using them all up on muses before you.
I get scared that my fingers
have been closed in fists for so long,
that I no longer know how to
make room in between them
to lace with yours.
I get scared because
I only know how to love too much.
I was never good at coloring inside the lines.
I cannot help but
under my covers.
I lay myself bare.
I lay myself to be explored by your hands.
Leave behind your fingerprints on my skin
before we both fully wake up in the morning.
I lay my mind bare.
Come run through its labyrinth
its dark corners
its curvy pathways,
and make a home in my heart.
You are welcome here.
I’m overwhelmed by the hunger
to be unraveled by you,
to be discovered,
like discolored layers of
the deepest parts of me,
greyed and tainted by stains
from those too reckless to hold me.
I beg to be excavated,
like untapped wells of
my deepest secrets that I hope to God
you are interested in enough to ask me about.
I am still waiting to be celebrated.
I am covered in a blanket of flaws,
but I ask you to not give up on me just yet.
Just a forewarning:
I am the biggest dork in the world.
I will be thrilled by small things
like how a new pen feels when I first write with it
or when my leftovers fit perfectly
into the Tupperware I choose to place them in.
But know that I will also be thrilled
by the way your hand lands on the small of my back
or where the corners of your lips land on your face when you smile.
I will be thrilled by the sheer understanding
that I love you on purpose.
As my heart as my witness,
I love you dearly
An open letter to the next boy who will break my heart:
Because you will.
I ask that you do it gently,
do it with your fingers still flossed in my hair,
tangling them tightly
like my locks were attached to my heart,
mangling and dangling
in the cavity of my chest,
cheeks spangling and wet with tears.
Do it with your thumb still brushing against my jawline,
suspending the fever of loneliness
just a bit longer.
even for a bit,
that this is hurts you too.
Even if this was the easiest task that you’ve ever had to face,
Even if this was a simple as breathing,
pretend that it takes conquering a thousand Everests
to say “Good-bye” to me.
be soft when you tell me
that you no longer love me.
Be soft when you tell me
that you never did.
Be soft when you tell me
that you never will.
I’ve noticed that nuclear bombs,
devastating and obliterating
anything they touch,
produce massive mushroom clouds
look just like the bouquet of roses
you sent me.
You are what it feels like
to reset forgotten passwords,
and to restore dusty books.
to restart rusty car engines.
and to restring old guitars.
I look at you and remember
why Joni Mitchell’s
still burns right through me.
You have become
the only muse
that keeps me awake.
Like far too many
in my dirty chai latte
at 3:25 in the morning.
Like a reckless addict
looking for an all too willing lover
at an open bar.
Like L.A. highways
and New York subways.
I will not know sleep for a while.
Remember that you once gave me butterflies
that swayed and swirled with the ghosts of
men who didn’t know how to love me,
and kept them at bay long enough
to teach me that it’s okay to love again.
Remember that the rhythm of your kisses
was what made me love to dance.
Remember that the color of your eyes
was once my favorite poem.
if there is a “she”
that you don’t tell me her name.
Because it’s one thing to know that you don’t love me,
and another thing to know that you love someone else.
And another thing to know the new name on your tongue.
Your eyes will soon become reflections
of the dark things I feel when I’m lying
arms and legs stretched out,
pretending that my bed isn’t as vast and empty as it really is.
I try to use my limbs to take up the space
so that loneliness doesn’t have room
to sit at the edge of my bed.
it always finds ways to lay down and latch itself onto me,
like an infant, heavy and asleep on my chest.
You can keep the love letters I’ve written you,
the ones you place under your pillow,
as well as the ones you’ve read through searching my eyes.
You can keep the way your name sounds when I say it,
I will eventually know how to unmiss forming my mouth around it
in ways more than simply recalling a memory
and an old fading story.
You can keep the lazy kisses I’ve peppered over your collarbones
if I can keep the soundtrack of your smile
playing on repeat
until I unlearn the muscle memory of having
your body next to my body.
I will not question you for unloving me.
I will not question you for packing up and cleaning out
whatever home you had made inside me.
I only ask that you leave the door unlocked when you leave.
And know that the welcome mat in the doorway
will never not know what it felt like to have you enter.