tunnels & collar bones

i want to run through every red light to get to you faster
the butterflies caged in my chest break free
when i recognize your silhouette across the dark parking lot
i want to live with my face buried in the space between your collar bones
your smile sets my gut at ease
like the ease you have with kissing the top of my forehead
with a warm, “hey babe”
& i never knew how much i craved
the velvety softness of those two words
until you say it

casually.
like how you casually play off the incredibly thoughtful things you do for me,
like loading the Harry Potter audiobooks to a playlist for me,
or leaving me “thinking of you” videos in the morning.
i want to extend each moment,
each second,
because time apart feels like that game i used to play with my brothers,
holding my breath at the entrance of a tunnel
only allowing myself to exhale once you reach the other side–

only, it’s not a game now.
& i’ve only just caught my breath with you
& don’t want to hold it a second more.
& yet.. i want to let you leave.
i want you to go conquer the world,
and be the person you tell all about it
at the end of the day.

if you didn’t ask me, “how was your circle group meeting?”
i’m quite sure
that all of this
would’ve come tumbling out

in one

breath.

type A

“is she your type?” i ask, motioning to the smokin’ hot YouTube guru i had playing on his desktop

“come here” he says, pulling me to sit on his lap at the edge of his bed

you are my type” he affirms, wrapping his arms around my waist

“no i’m not” i laugh rolling my eyes, then searching his for a visual contradiction to his words

i find none.

“you are now.” and he kisses me on the cheek

missing people easily isn’t natural for him
& now that i think about it,
it isn’t for me too.

i’ve had boyfriends go on
long family vacations
even deployments
& they’d have to pull the words out of me
“don’t you miss me yet?” they’d ask.
i’d say it because..
you’re supposed to say it.
but it was usually such a relief to have them away
it told me i could be fine without
which i thought was just because i’m reasonable
independent
just slightly emotionally detached.

but with you,
i’m afraid
i may be at the mercy of my feelings
i’m terrified
i may fall apart when you leave.
& the ache will be a throbbing never ending feeling
that can’t be satiated with texts
& quick layover visits
& facetime
& alexa drop-ins

& you’ll think to yourself,
this girl just feels too much
& assume that this is my M.O when people leave me,

but it’s as if my heart just reserved all this,
just for you.

closed til spring

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.

sermon

i am far from a good christian
i still feel weird about stating a religious preference
because religions get a bad rap
& their followers are the worst.

i hold the agnostic card in my back pocket when im cornered
to play neutral when questions get too tough
& prayers get too touchy feely
as I gaze at my meal with head bowed.

but once i met you
something changed
as cliche & cheesy as that sounds.
maybe it was timing
i reached a point where agnosticism wasnt giving me enough
at the end of the day

maybe you can call that His work
or atheists call it luck
but something changed
& theres a yearning
a craving
for more.
im not wholly convinced yet
but its a start.
with the questions
& the discussions
& the links to video sermons
that make me feel a little less lost.

& maybe the intent has other motives
but isnt that the covert way He makes things work sometimes?
i cant speak for anyone else’s plan but my own
so for right now,
hearing you talk
about living a righteous life
is enough.

5am

me: so you know that song that comes on at around five in the morning when you’re driving me home?
him: what song?
me: the one that goes like… im indifferent.. i just want to break up out of here..
him: *laughs* yeah what about it?
me: i hate that song
him: oh my god. i LOVE that song! i have it on repeat at work

& so on & so forth
its about taste in music
to opinions on gun carrying laws
to private vs public school
to whether or not we should have kids
& everything in between

im just hoping our opposition on the spectrum
will eventually keep us from being at odds
& instead bring us side by side
two conflicting colors
that as additives bring out hues & vividness ordinarily lost
seen alone.

checked out

im kind of not so great at this
im better with the grand fights
& unceremonious burning of letters
& trashing of old boxers, tshirts, socks

but to methodically gather your belongings
after a calm laying out of what ive been contemplating for months
& to both agree to disagree, that we’d be happier as individuals than as a couple
…is a lot harder.

im better at listing
all the petty grievances ive mentally filed over the years
& ingesting a daily dose of it to stay angry
keep my edge
fuel my hate

but to accept this change
& do as grownups do
makes me feel empty.
& so very tired
now comes the anxious waiting
to see if, & how, we navigate this foreign territory
& see who will drop the pretenses of a “good ex” first
we shall see

trenches

shhhh

lets let it go unspoken
because the timid poking & prodding
prefaced with, “i dont want this to turn into an argument”

never prevents it from turning into one nonetheless.
or into subdued silence.
the latter at least plays decoy for the argument raging on in my head
& the voice cast as you at least commits to listening
& reasoning
& compromising.. a little.
lets be real here. its still you
just my imagined, toned down version of you.

hushhh

because id rather reluctantly come to terms on my own
with the fact that anything you say you’ll try to do,
or hope to do,
to assuage my anger
will only deal me unbidden disappointment in the future.

no, id rather not.
so instead i’ll seek solace in the quiet foxhole we’ve dug ourselves into
out of the direct line of fire
but not out of the war.