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excerpts from all the poems I have tried to write about us

25 ways I have tried to say “I love you”

This is a poem I might let you read one day.

When you call me i almost wish you didn’t
But i get in the car anyway
Ride to the nearest parking lot
And sit with you all night
By streetlight you belong to me
Bathed in shadows, flecked with light
I could write a novel about the way you unbuckle your seatbelt

I am getting in and i am wrapped in a blanket and you do not mention it to me at all
You drive to a place that’s like home to you

There are constellation on your cheeks
I could draw the freckles on the right side of your face by memory

I cannot forget the night we lie in our parking lot under the stars
And we are whispering to each other
And our knuckles are grazing but it isn’t on purpose
And the stories you tell are softer with every passing moment
At the end of the night we hit a deer, and we laugh, and you apologize, and we drive home wiping tears out of our eyes

I am doing it and you are not shy and you are gazing.

You are sweet like a secret -
Not many get the gift of knowing
But when they do, it is the gift that keeps on giving
The secret and the blossoms are the same -
It takes a bit of pressure to draw the sweetness out
Like the blossoms must be squeezed
Like a secret must be begged for
You are your best and truest only after a bit of pressing

We are speaking truths we daren’t offer to anyone else

I wish I could turn and smile at you in the dark
And say
“Keep your eyes on the road, for once”
And you’d hear
“Don’t stop looking at me / I love when you look at me”

How many nights do we spend like this
Side by side
Not touching not asking not saying
But doing everything else

You say, “speak your truth”
You mean “Please don’t”
I say, “I’m thinking”
I mean “I can’t”

And so we go on in this kaleidoscope language
Every word a refraction
Every pause a vibrant burst of color
Where does it end, this dream we won’t say out loud?

This is a poem about loving you.

A dream come to life demands a certain handling -
Looking at it just makes you want to reach out
and hold fragile blossoms in careful palms

We are flying somewhere through Texas
And the sky is blue and the sun is shining and it is you and i and the interstate
For the next 7 hours

You are indoctrinating us into the language of hope
If the tree is the product of romantic dreams,
I’m certain you’re the same

You come and you call
You always call
You keep the car running, you always play my favorite song when I get in
And you always call when you pull up

You are such an anchor for our wandering spirits
The stillness we dreamt of coming home to

I wrote you this poem but i wish I didn’t

Another night you are picking me up and it is me and my blanket and my sadness
And you choose a horror movie and we sit in your car and watch it with the surround sound all the way up
And afterward you read me love poems and i listen and make fun of you
We force ourselves to say nice things about the other
and sigh and dream into each other’s mouths

You are old in your spirit
In the way it seems that you’ve done this all before
And are none too pleased to be doing it all again
Old in the way your soul seems too big for your body sometimes
And is forced to pour out into notebooks and playlists and your quiet, steady gaze

And we are pulling into a parking lot and we are eating
And we spend six hours asking each other what the other is thinking
And we answer honestly
And tonight we do not hide
When you drop me off you look in my eyes and you say you’d do it all over again

You never were so great at timing.

We end up in another parking lot
Empty and warm and bathed in sunshine
And on this day we let the sun burn our noses and we laugh until we are breathless
I burn into my mind
The way you look here in the sun on the pavement beside me

I wrote you a poem in Austin at 2am
As someone else drove and i sat shotgun
Listening to a playlist you made
Dreaming you into a metaphor

This poem is a scrapbook of the ways I break my own heart.

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