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

& it feels so damn good.

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.

all in

my reddening eyes betrayed me
with their sloppy wet lashes
before i could articulate
my disappointment.

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
“how presumptuous!?”

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
for you.

here i am,
assuming “snow” just means winter
& powdered white landscapes
but for you,
its based on context
& texture
& 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
no restrictions
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
& obstacles
& 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.”

– P

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

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
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.


do you see?

the admiration beaming from my eyes when i gaze at you?
as if even minutes apart made me thirst for you
& just seeing you in all your handsome charm quenches it.

can you feel?

me trying to pluck the stress from your temples
your neck, your shoulders
as you tell me about your eventful day?
my earnest attempt to transfer all the bad you’re feeling
& take it upon myself.

can you hear?

the sweet sound of honest to goodness happiness?
in my laugh, in the way i coo, “you’re my favorite”
for the hundredth time today.
in the sincerity in my apologies for your long hours,
back to back meetings, & difficult days.

[i’ve never apologized so much before
& rarely ever for things that have
nothing to do with me]

is this what it is to love?

it feels like
such an incredible responsibility
to feel something this insurmountable
for someone else
& having now felt it,
to know that to live any other way
would be a half-life.