there are things i will probably never have again
now that i’m with you.
i will never have to dread
waking up to passive aggressive texts,
& the onslaught of angry, unproductive back & forth digital arguing.
i will never have to question who’s blowing up your phone,
& pulling your loyalty, your attention from me.
i will never have to imagine all my dirty secrets
that you’re airing out over drinks with the boys.

you don’t realize the bad that you’re missing
when all you’ve been showered with
is consistent
unconditional
ground-shaking
good.

“so you mean.. a mature relationship?” you ask, smirking.
“no. i mean… the kind of relationship i didn’t know i deserved, but was looking for, my whole life.”

doing life over sushi

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
& happy
& safe.

they say God hears consistency
if that is true
then your name
must be the most prominent thing
God has heard from me
in years.

girl disconnected

i always kind of liked being unreachable
when overseas.
anywhere international,
meant i was un-tethered to the “real world”
my world.
i mean i hated that i had a radius
a short distance & practiced route
to get me to & from the hotel
so i wouldn’t get lost.
but at least i couldn’t be bothered
distracted
when i was away.

but you went & got me an international data plan
because you know i have a tendency
of getting lost
[even on practiced streets]
so i could be reachable
if i wanted to be.

& instead of feeling tied down
restricted
tethered by a leash thats been shortened with this newfound accessibility
i felt even freer.
because when i saw the snow fall in Japan
i could tell you i was thinking of you.
when i tasted the most amazing dessert in Australia
i could send you a photo of it, & tell you to come with me next time to try it for yourself.

because the difference is,
everything i wander towards
& around
i want to share with you.
because you are my world.

renovations

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,
& lighting,
& dry wall,
& contracting.

& 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
consistently
unrelentingly.
but now it feels like its fluttering to a rhythm
that we both embody.

& it feels so damn good.

3/4

I love you
like a sea otter loves it’s favorite rock.
Fact: sea otters will search high and low
for a perfect rock
Smooth and ideal in shape
to rest on their belly
& smash clams and shellfish upon
they even have a pouch of skin
Where they keep their favorite rock

You, babe
are my sea otter rock.

the ways in which he loves

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.

the verb & the feeling

i always thought the highest level of a relationship
based on regard for one another,
not on labels or status,
is whether or not love is ever-present.

Because after all,
one of God’s ultimate commandments
is to love one another–
He never said it would be easy.

But loving someone is a verb
its demonstrated through actions
through consistency
through words of affirmation
& always showing up.
Love is putting someone else before you,
and embodying the care & utmost respect
you could have for someone else.

Liking someone, however?
that’s a feeling.
it comes from judging a person’s character,
weighing it against your own ideals.
its demonstrated through the ease of having common ground
unsolicited friendship.
You could strive to love your neighbor,
but do you ever have to like her & her love of stray cats,
hoarding tendencies,
& late night, pot-perfumed, porch parties?

it seems to precede love–
but isnt it really its own making?

i think in most of my relationships,
i didn’t take the time to figure out whether i even liked the guy,
before committing to his lifestyle,
his dreams,
his future,
his expectations.
& because i had done all that so fluidly
so readily
i reasoned, i must’ve been in love.
because the actions of the word were all present.

Now i have a man,
who’s taken a year and a half to be mine
but i can say, honestly, i thoroughly love him.
But now that love’s been declared
& commitment’s been pronounced
i’m not so afraid of not loving him
as i am of not liking him.
because love is an action,
& i am a gold-star follow-through-er.

but will i like him while doing so?

the lit-miss test

your importance
in my life
is evident
in how much i miss you
& it’s only been a day.
& we don’t cohabitate,
so it’s not a matter of readjusting
to having the entire bed to myself
or the lack of morning breath kisses
or timely meals shared after a long day of work

no
instead
this is an emotional pull
that aches
& yearns
but is only obvious to me.
its my body instinctively knowing you’re too far for comfort
& that anxious feeling reverberates the 7,803 miles separating us
& keeps me from being at peace.

they say distance makes the heart grow fonder
distance is the litmus test
that tells me
with you,
every cell in my body is protesting
against this thing called distance.

had i.

had i listened to all those relationship advice articles
i wouldnt be in this place i am now.

had i listened
to the impatience
the entitlement
tug tug tugging to be noticed
justified
glorified
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.