To the girl who empowers me,
With a laugh, a glance, an honest word,
an unprompted touch of my shoulder,
to do the things I otherwise wouldn’t bother to:
Never have I been so brave as to hold a ball python for my own fun til she spoke of a snake who’s half her height
like an old friend.
That is not a metaphor.
Or to do that one pull-up more
and maybe one after it,
if there’s even a chance it’d bring me a step closer
to being the person I know I want to be.
And I’m definitely not yet a person who’s built for pullups,
but with her looking my way, doubt seems like a foreign word.
She told me she wished
that she could someday be the subject of my writing,
yet it seems every time I try to prove
that love is action,
passion eclipses intellect,
my paper folds itself into an airplane and flies by its own accord,
and I’ll be ****** if,
of all the things I can’t control,
my own words will be one of them.
I know I severed us for a while,
tugged too ******* the Jacob’s ladder between her fingers,
wanting more in the moment than she had to spare,
til her eventual reply was noble truth:
that her hands wouldn't be vacant for holding
while she had so much to set them to work on.
Her hands, her beautiful hands, were booked,
with her thousand different interests and commitments,
and all I could do was lay in bed at night,
sometimes tossing and turning at the thought of the time
where she took me in her arms on a whim,
and I was unable to fall asleep
for fear that, if she permeated the film of my dreams,
she'd be more nightmare than not.
Yet with time, she spoke to me by her own inclination.
Whistled to me like the stray dog I'd made of myself
and lay out a spot to sit next to her.
I never realized until now how much I respect her
for never playing nice with the boy who,
assuming we’re friends enough,
calls me a useless lesbian.
I guess that pound of a joke had some ounce of truth to it,
for all the times where what she and I had
felt like one great web of miscommunications,
and subconsciously I see her as the spider
or she sees me
or sometimes it’s us both this whole time.
But if there's any certainty in it all, it's this:
She'd been in at least the back of my mind
for as long as I'd known her,
asserted herself right away
as the kingpin of my flighty wits.
And I still dream of writing something that makes her heart beat,
even halfway to on par with all the stories that race
through her head,
in her wild blood.
I wanted to be her latest passion for even a moment.
Because the honest to god gleam in her eyes
when she tells me what’s really on her mind
made me so selfish as to want to be that thing,
for however long
it could last.
Yet I've sometimes seen that fervor in her eyes waver,
like they're trying to promise something better.
Little does she know
she's already the best thing for me
just by being herself.
And I understand that she doesn’t love me
not in the way I once wanted,
but having her for however long in my life,
before she’s off like a free willed honeybee
with so much better to do,
that is enough and so much more.
Because despite how I’ve tried to deny the facts of the matter,
I’m firmly rooted for a girl who's bold enough
to crack the whip over my head if I ever went to war with myself.
A confidant that won't run,
won't offer half truth when the whole of it
is all that actually matters.
This was that paper airplane
comprised of eight months of the cheapest blood, sweat, and tears
from the first moment she set up camp
in the farthest reaches of my heart,
to where I was finally past the point of dreaming
of any future
where she may not be as happy with me as I am with her.
For better or for worse,
I've straightened my spine and let the honest truth sail
knowing full well that she doesn’t owe me a thing.
I'm still not sure if I was coming clean
or stating what’d always been obvious,
when I wished for her peace
among these watercolor depictions,
for her to find the rest she so craved and deserves,
and to wake, inspired anew, in a cycle that suited her,
whether I was a part of that cycle or not.
To the girl who helped me find the gall,
and who's going, going,
gone on to better things:
Gabriel García Márquez says I love you with all my being,
so maybe that’s why I'm finally letting you go.
To the girl who inspired me with her own reverence, of stories and fiction, characters and other worlds, and all the things that align just a little bit better than any of the aspects of our own lives ever seem to... and who still considered my awkward *** a friend after I deaddropped a love confession poem to her like some bootleg romantic. It's been a year, Al.