Ordinary phrases of endearment always rang through my skull as terms of conquest. “I miss you,”- a mouthful of blood. “I need you,”- spitting out teeth. “I love you,”- a white flag, waving wildly, admitting defeat. With him, these words flowed easily, but still stung like bile on their way out. I’d rather choke on knuckles than on a tender declaration of adoration, but love twists us into foreign shapes. It was love; such bruising could be result of no other phenomenon. We were in love. Coffee after dessert, doodling flowers, reading Cummings kind of honey-sweet love. In hindsight it’s a pity, but as it unfolded it was everything good in this world, and I miss it every day.
When I confessed my love, it felt like spitting out my front teeth and coughing up a pint of blood. I gave up the struggle; I allowed him the twisty dark parts of myself that only a few had asked to see. My white flag glowed like a beacon through the velvet blue nights we spent giving each other secrets, wrapped with care in gold ribbon, and placed delicately in one another’s palms. I write this recollection while still blood still drips from my mouth. To experience loss and be unaware you have lost is a defeat like no other.
I will need you forever (a blow to my jaw), I will miss you forever (broken fingers hanging limp), I will love you forever (stars swirling behind my eyes).
excerpt from my short story, first and final paragraphs