It has been one year, three months, and twenty-three days since the last time I saw you. I do not remember what it feels like to have your hands on my body. I do not remember what it feels like to not love you. I do not know which scares me more.
When I last left you, autumn was descending on both of our continents, on both sides of our ocean. You cupped my face in your palms and pressed your mouth to mine like a prayer. Or perhaps it was a plea: Please don’t forget me. Please don’t forget this. Please wait for me. Please.
The security guards at the airport, already numb to the tear-stained cheeks of young girls, told me that I must have my hair out of my eyes so the cameras could recognize me.
I blinked and forced the corners of my lips upward. I did my best.
It is Christmastime now. The air is damp and the wind tears through the city. I am warm and safe here, but dreaming only of brimming arrival gates, and cars teeming down the wrong side of the highway, and always your eyes, deep and dear, never looking away from me.
Hold onto me, I want to say. Pull me down from flight like a tether to the earth. Our bodies must slowly reacquaint themselves with each other, but this is one kind of introduction that I don’t mind.
It’s me, I want to say. I’m coming home.