fact: i’ve never actively pursued anyone before,
unless you count the 7th grade.
i bought one of those fake fundraising roses
& gave it to my 8th grade crush.
“crush” is an appropriate adjective,
for after i left he properly mocked me in front of his friends
& threw it in the trash.
i never considered myself closed off,
but i definitely wised up real fast.
my heart was no longer visible on my sleeve,
a gleaming badge asking to be stolen.
instead.. it was stitched carefully into the inside of the cuff
so i could finger the seams discretely,
reassuring myself it’s still there.
somehow its made its way to the outside world.
& its a scary place.
i once read that the decision to end a relationship
is not a democratic one,
its an autocratic one.
& it isnt for the other to reason,
they must simply — accept.
i always thought,
if you love deeply,
& make yourself irreplaceable..
no one will ever leave
but its not for you to say
whether it was ever filling enough,
or if you aren’t expendable.
so how do you ever remain
the girl he glows with adoration for?
“i’d say… we’re talking” you answer.
the answer to my endless amount of loving probes
bubbling over questions
and i feel like i cornered you
but i also feel victorious
& wonder if somehow i’m gonna pay for this error later.
you should know,
in case i’ve permanently killed this with my big
i absolutely adore you.
i’ve never thought so highly of a person i’m interested in… ever.
because: i’ve never pursued anyone before.
i’ve never taken the time to grow to appreciate someone,
from a distance.
this is not a lip-locked, nose-touching-nose,
“i like your freckles” kind of adore
you know the kind where you’re so caught up
in being caught up
that you don’t see the details
all those glaringly bright, red, details.
this is me adoring you
from seeing you as a friend
& falling slowly each & every time
you carefully peel a layer away.
it’s painfully slow
but it’s all in the details.
i want you to know,
i only pushed,
because i don’t want to lose you
being in limbo sometimes makes me feel like im drowning
so every so often, i need confirmation
a buoy in the distance that signals land is near,
& a lifeline to hang onto.
just know that,
you are important to me.
ive been gazing at you
for a year now
& pray to God i never stop.
dear big brother,
so this is an unorganized ramble.. sans alcohol so.. i don’t have a good excuse for its state.
i’ve reread your letter over & over again
on days im unsure of the person i’m left with post-breakup
& on days i just want the satisfaction of seeing him called “Mr. Potatohead” on the internet.
there are some things ive learned about myself
given some time & space from it all
& i figure,
like a good patient reporting back to their therapist
asking for clearance to return to society,
i should write this to let you know.
i’ve come to realize i have more squishy bags than i thought
things that im willing to bend
with no resentment
things i dont see as a sacrifice
for the right person.
things that i used to consider non-negotiables like:
getting on a roller coaster
being called “baby” or “babe”
committing to temporary long distance
these are things that if i see myself long-term with someone,
a person who is throwing his squishy stuff into the space as well
& doesn’t mind the chaos of the bending & mushing of personals
id be happy to adjust for.
they’re equal sacrifices.
& my hard surfaces have only become more pronounced
post-breakup with Mr. Potatohead
things that were mislabeled
to be belongings that weren’t near & dear to my heart
so they were shoved into the attic with no sensitivity
to collect dust & become forgotten items for another time.
my introverted tendencies
my desire to have a marriage possibly without kids in the picture
my need for plans/schedules/consistency
my love language of acts of service.
maybe its my fault for misrepresenting the value of these things.
maybe i did in fact deceive him,
playing it off as easy-going, & out-going
doesn’t everyone put their best foot forward when they get to know someone?
& maybe it’s my fault for letting my values be treated so insignificantly
but i also dont think a good person
a truly good person,
someone who loves you
& wants to build a life with you,
would bulldoze you like that.
it plays out in my head like this:
early on he realized there’s finite space available,
after quickly assessing the ratio & significance of his stuff vs mine
[because engineers are good at calculating stuff like that]
without hesitation, he slipped on his noise-canceling headphones
& went to town with a sledgehammer on my luggage
unable to hear the shattering, of all that makes me– me.
i have to object to your closing remarks.
because there was no shattering of tiny unfulfilling cups,
or breaking of roller-boards on my part.
i never partook in the crime myself.
maybe for lack of strength.
maybe for grace & better up-bringing — who knows.
i can say i am grateful though
for the perspective
for the time to account for all my belongings again
for the thrill of the possibility
of finding someone who stops & points at my hard-cased Travelpro,
& simply smiles & says, “hey! i have one just like that. Where’d you get it from?”
& i now have the capacity to take the time to tell them.
-your lil sis
you are my blind spot
my mind rotates all sides of your cube
fixated on all the signs,
connecting all the dots,
reading all the subtle cues,
to align all the red pieces on a face.
& just when i feel relaxed,
for having finished all the reds–
i turn it over
& realize there’s five more sides all jumbled up
a mix of greens, yellows, blues, & whites
in a mess
that makes me feel like i havent figured anything out at all.
“i dont need commitment right this moment.. i dont need for you to be my boyfriend. i dont even need to know you’ll be mine six months from now or anything.. just.. i need you to take a step closer. a step closer to me.”
“well what does that mean? what does that look like?”
“it means telling me this can go somewhere.. that this is something. can you take that step closer?”
“i cant take that step yet.”
“is there at least a possibility that you could take that step?”
“ok… that’s good enough for me. for now.”
lock me up in a room
you bring the guac & sardines
i’ll provide the netflix & popcorn
i want to hole up for winter
secluded until spring
disappear from the inquisitive looks
& probing texts
so i can figure this out.
give me your time
your most bare & honest self
i promise i wont put on a spot of makeup
if you promise to never stop singing in the shower
so i can figure you out.
show me your crazy
narrate your adventures
run your fingers along my scars
& ask me how i got them
let me burrow my face into your chest
and press my body along your side
for as long as it takes
so i can figure us out.
wear me out
wear me down
fast forward through the excitement
& the thrill
i want it all at once
so i can know
so you can know
if the first step is worth it.
would you prefer a man who readily misses you,
says it, no-holds-barred,
but may not know the weight of it?
a man who measures out his thoughts,
& the implications it may have on your world,
& although he may not mean it [yet..]
will say it because he knows the weight it carries to you?
because your world shifts slightly when he says it
it means more.. by meaning less.. if that’s even possible.
a man who says it to make you happy.
because even if it doesnt come naturally to him,
its what he’ll do. for you.
a few months from now,
this entire note may read as a red flag
disguised as hope.
we’ll just have to wait..
will the other shoe ever drop?
how long will you wait to see?