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There are things we come back to:
People we can’t stop loving. Places that sing and sigh. Words gritty and livening inside our mouths. Songs that shake us out of our indifference, make us feel. Those little coffee shops rattling with charming oddities. Stories of scares that turned out to be enjoyable thrills. Photographs where their hands are in yours and you are both beaming. Poetry. Motion. Light.
It’s all the same. All the wonder and heart-twist, all the love and loss.
There are things we come back to.
There are things we come back to, and there is you.
A long time ago, I dreamed of you. Back when everything was uncertain and fantastically, despairingly painful.
In this dream, you looked like the end of one world and the beginning of another. Like a door cracked part of the way open. I wanted to walk through to the other side. I wanted to see what this new world was like. I wanted rebirth. I wanted you. Simply, stupidly.
I’ll never forget the way the night and all its neon lights played with your face. I’ll never forget waking up with a pulse faster than a bird’s, and swinging my legs over the edge of the mattress, and blinking at the wall as I decided it was time to take my poor, engorged heart to the page.
I didn’t write that day. I confessed. I admitted the unadmittable: Love, being in love.
Tell me to stop romanticizing you and I will be defiant, I will refuse your request.
Tell me to stop rhapsodizing you and I will tell you that I have always done so, have always been composing poems within your orbit, as if, like some kind of Jerusalem, all roads lead to you.
Tell me to stop idealizing you and I will say it’s impossible for me, for someone who falls in love with everything raw and good and blooming, for a writer, for a girl who is all blush beneath her sarcasm, all stomach-flutter beneath her carefully arranged neutrality.
Tell me to stop and I will rebel.
I will keep writing you as you exist. Crackling with energy. Sharp, like new ice. Flagrant.
I will keep drawing upon language to arrange as close an image of you as I can possibly come.
I will keep telling all the world how you are collision upon collision of forest and wind, endless.
You cannot stop me.
There are things I come back to.
This (eyes that never fail to see straight through to my core; a laughing mouth; beautiful hands tuning a violin in sun-dusted silence as I watch with my own poised over piano keys, wondering despondently why our duets are always love songs);
and this (a small, privately lovely box of canvases with your trees, star-swirls, a phoenix enflamed, and other rising things; two girls, a bookstore, a meeting of souls, a rescue from excruciating loneliness; us sprawled out side by side on an uneven cellar floor beneath the glow of lights strung everywhere, awash in amusement because parties were never something we excelled at);
and this (the moment it all became clear; the answering longing; the brilliance of synergy; the soft and glorious voyage of our hands toward each other; the inevitability of it all).
Fort Worth, Texas
West Jordan, Utah
Huber Heights, Ohio
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