I was born with a knack for reading and a passion for writing and a terrible, ten cent memory. although I can't recall what I ate for breakfast (unless your mother made it) I can still remember the first time we met.
I remember looking up at your apartment, seeking refuge from the cold, pushing away "this is a bad idea" and thinking maybe honey colored windows and smokey air could change my life. plants hang like bodies behind the blinds. now I think "this was a great idea" and I still can't decide if I should've ascended those stairs- two flights- right into your life. you were sitting on the couch and wouldn't look my way because the cigarette between your lips was far more intriguing. car horns and screams erupt from the tv. this is the first time we speak since I first saw you in middle school, pushing my friends into the bathroom of the wrong gender.
I remember spending every day working my way to the couch. first the floor. then the chair. then beside you. and once I found this place God knows I knew I was at home. I've never liked watching you play video games and swing from roof to roof and flip a truck with the push of a button, but now there's nothing I miss more than the sounds of that glowing controller. only when I traded my dark sweaters for a tight tee had I caught your attention.
I remember the night we taped your mouth closed and your wrists tight and tossed you in the trunk as a joke. I still have pictures. you tried to speak and although your words were muffled, I could understand. I was the translator. and I still am. you told me you'd be satisfied if you kissed my best friend before the night was over. I told you I couldn't handle myself on an empty stomach. I puked all over the side of the car.
I remember trying to start a fire for forty five minutes and chugging liquor like water before our friends returned. asking you to sit with me that night was an invitation to fall in love with me. however, the type of love you showed was not one I knew well. I never let anyone **** me because I was too afraid of myself. but I never stopped you because you weren't afraid of anything. I wonder if you still would have done it knowing how far along id take you. I wonder what kind of dreams you had when you passed out in the trunk and I shuttered in January air, 3 am and the tape from your mouth is on the steering wheel. there is no such thing as silence. there are only hands rubbing my back as I try to remember how the sun feels.
I remember bruises on my thighs that looked like Van Gogh touched a canvas with a blindfold on. I swear I shook for three days after That: when I saw you, when I wanted you, when I thought of you. three things I still tackle with every morning smoke. I used to think you'd never speak to me after that night. who would've guessed we'd have a million more.
I remember the first time you had me completely exposed, and it was not just my skin. I was knocking things off my bucket list, knocking my head on the headboard, knocking on your door at midnight with a blunt in my back pocket. remember when you punched me in the throat on accident? I leaned into it. should've knocked some sense into me.
I remember laying on your bed listening to the messages my first love had left on my phone a year ago. "I love you, I love you. please come back. I love you." you thought they were creepy. I wanted you to need me this badly. I wanted you to hold me when I cried. "message deleted." "message deleted." I wanted to keep you from walking out of the room, and I wanted to keep your mother from walking in. she thought I was a good one. "I like her," she shouted, cackling over the sink. "she's good for you. she's so good for you." she doesn't know I carved her couch with your knife. she doesn't know how you dragged me in front of the mirror and told me I was beautiful. she once called me and told me I used her as a hotel. it was my home. I am still there, somewhere. I remember so many things and yet not one is valuable when I try to find words to fit. I can't tell you what love is. you can read every poem and hear every love song and see every photo and you will never know. but if you give me an hour and a bottle of wine, I can tell you what it's like when it's gone.