he wants chickens.
he happily recites facts he’s read
about how self-sustainable they are
& shares his plans of a coop in the backyard
& a compost pile
that our kids will tend to.
he delicately asks
how i want the eventual chicken deaths
to be handled
because they dont live very long
& he embraces the extra-sensitive animal lover in me.
he makes plans
how ever small chickens seem
in the grand scheme of life.
he sees fresh farmed eggs
in our future
so despite any doubts i have
about our compatibility as housemates
they must be insignificant enough
for him to still see us caring for chickens.
he starts his prayer
before devouring his eight plates of sushi
as i match him– with my measly four
he starts his prayer
with thanking God
for getting “to do life with” me.
& i smile
with my eyes closed
& squeeze his hand a little tighter
because that’s the prayer i say
before i fall asleep.
before the asks,
for keeping him healthy
they say God hears consistency
if that is true
then your name
must be the most prominent thing
God has heard from me
ive watched the video you sent me
the tour of the house you’re helping to renovate
you carefully map out the progress of each room
i listened to you explain trimming,
& dry wall,
& i may not understand all of that stuff,
but you in your element
always makes my heart happy.
but that isnt the reason why i watched it 27 times and counting.
when you say,
“and im excited that probably sometime in the future..
we’re gonna do this for us
hopefully. i love you.”
my heart goes all a flutter.
& we both know its been fluttering,
for a very long time now
but now it feels like its fluttering to a rhythm
that we both embody.
& it feels so damn good.
He always stands in front of me on descending escalators,
& behind me on ascending ones
because he knows I have a propensity for falling.
He packs an overcoat even though he knows he’ll never use it,
because he’d rather carry the extra garment
& give me the option of having an added layer to protect me from the cold.
He sends me videos of himself,
welcoming me to whatever country,
state, city I’m flying into
so that however bad of a flight I had,
it’s always remedied with his bright smile.
He writes me notes with the sweetest sentiments
& sends them via email when he knows im still sleeping
so as not to wake me with a text notification.
These are the gestures
however small or large they appear
that lets me know
he chooses me.
each and every day.
ive never been so sad to be away from you.
but ive never been so happy,
to realize how sad i am without you.
how deeply i adore you.
my reddening eyes betrayed me
with their sloppy wet lashes
before i could articulate
not in you.
let the record state that.
“i just dont want you to get so lost in this, that if it doesn’t work out… it will destroy you.”
“how cocky” i thought
but as my body reacted
before my mind could process
i realized that at the heart of it all,
my disappointment was in myself
because you were right.
& i didnt know how to convince you
that it wouldnt be so.
i know that eskimos dont actually have
a hundred words for “snow.”
but i think that myth is the only way i know how
to articulate these moments
when i forget
that what i know to be true
the basis of my future-making decisions
& my unwavering faith
may not be the same
here i am,
assuming “snow” just means winter
& powdered white landscapes
but for you,
its based on context
& speed at which it’s falling.
that isn’t to say
we disagree on the sky being blue
or the moon meaning night
or “i love you” to be anything short of what it is.
For me, “all in” is no holds barred
regardless of what life throws at us,
im dedicating myself to this completely.
For you, “all in” translates to:
from what you know of me thus far,
from all youve grown to love
you’re in it. that much you can commit to.
but there is still life
& curved balls
that may change the concept of
“soft, delicate, beautiful” snow
into “icy, hazardous, dangerous” snow–
& that kind of shift demands reassessing of “all in.”
i wish i knew
all the variations of the word
before committing my whole heart
to the only translation ive ever known.
“Just.. you always have to be in each other’s corner. no matter what. you have to be that for him, but also know that he’s that for you. it’s wherever you are, whatever time it is, no matter what you’re feeling — you’re there. in the other’s corner.
.. oh. and laugh. a lot. make each other laugh.”
had i listened to all those relationship advice articles
i wouldnt be in this place i am now.
had i listened
to the impatience
tug tug tugging to be noticed
in those self-affirming
“10 Signs He’s Not That Into You”
i wouldnt have this relationship.
had i listened
to every friend
who reminded me of my biological clock
& the many many fish out there
i wouldnt have this person.
had i gone against my gut
& listened to all the have-nots
i wouldnt be here to appreciate
all the haves.
how long does it take for you to know
that im your person?
how much assessing
& deliberating among friends
before you come to the conclusion
that i’ve arrived at months ago?
it shouldnt matter if you’ll be gone for years
because if this is real, it’ll outlast the distance.
on the other hand;
the years matter if they embody the test.
because if it’s real, when all the pieces fall into place
then you’ll know if my piece is still right beside yours.
with no guarantees