The first time I spent the night in his room, I did not sleep.
He laughed when he came back from the bathroom to see that I had folded his shirt while he was gone, asked me why, and I did not answer him.
At four o'clock in the morning I slithered away from his bed, wearing his sweatpants.
I folded them neatly in my closet.
When you grow up with a single mom, you learn quickly that there are times when you will have to be alone.
You learn to do your own dishes and check your own homework and wash your own laundry.
You learn to fold things neatly and put them away.
There was never anything neat about you.
No matter how many times I folded that shirt, my feelings for you were always messy and they were everywhere.
It reminded me of laundry day,
Clothes scattered around my room, listening to upbeat pop songs as I gathered them to be washed.
Some things were muddy from a rainy October recess, there were white pants stained red from a ****** knee, a green sweater splattered with grape juice because I just couldn't keep my glass full.
Some things almost looked clean, but I knew better.
My days with you were full of almost clean.
Evenings of red wine and laughing and card games that became nights of drunken giggling and pulling off my white tee shirt, stained with grown up grape juice.
And my mom isn't here to help me get the stain out.
In the morning, you made me tea and sang me Bob Dylan songs and I almost felt clean until I remembered your hands clasped at the curve of my waist the night before.
But I am well versed in cleaning up my own messes.
I lathered your sweat off my body with too-hot water and vanilla body wash, but your finger prints stayed under my skin and I couldn't remember the recipe for homemade stain remover and besides, it kind of looked like a pattern.
I should know by now that wine is not going to make the messes any tidier, but it's nice to forget how bleach smells sometimes.
You didn't notice how nicely my shirt was pressed when you were talking to her, and I guess that's when I realized that you didn't really mind the stain on her collar or the wrinkles
And I realized how harsh I looked next to the dirt on your canvas shoes and the rip in your jeans.
I guess I thought that if I folded my feelings for you neatly enough, you'd think it looked pretty,
But I never imagined that you wanted me messy, you said you like sleeping outside and you wish you could see the stars in the city,
I wish you looked at me the way you look at the galaxy.
When you brought my sweater back to me, you told me you tried to fold it like I would, but I thought it looked better crumpled up and half-folded.
As I took in your disheveled hair and wrinkled tee shirt, I said goodbye.
I never really took my body out from under your fingers, and maybe that's why my chest bruised when you left,
And all I could do was fold my sweater.