jarsh

1. My spine has always arced away from the moon; I break my neck
attempting to look behind me to see even an ounce of moonlight
present, to realize that it is possible to have light in all this dark
surrounding me, to see the faded rays wrap themselves around
my ribs like the arms of a lover I so desperately wish I had had.
It took your hand on my cheek to straighten out my spine and
force my eyes to look up, noticing that you were the light I was
searching for all along.
2. I’ve always been a broken sunset kind of girl; the sky wasn’t
beautiful unless it was overwhelmed with storm clouds because
only then could I feel less alone with the constant, heavy rainfall
of others cruel words in my head. If the atmosphere could cry,
then I could too. I could weep like a fleeting drizzle or scream like
a flash flood depending on how strong the current was in my bones.
And in the moments I believed the water was going to house its weight
in my lungs, you were there to help me remember how good it felt to swim.
3. You taught me how to blend the colors dwelling in my watercolor
heart; showed me that yes, it was still possible to create something
out of the messy palette present there.
That something I created was us, and my god, we’re a masterpiece.
4. One night while we were lying in bed together, I counted you
whispering “I love you” against my ear five times. My heart drummed
against the walls of my chest, throbbing harder each time the phrase
left your lips.
But with your arms coiled around me like you were afraid for me to
leave your side, like I was the anchor holding you down to the bed
so you wouldn’t melt away into the thoughts in your head, I felt as
if I had never heard it uttered before. It was a train crashing between my ribs, and I’ve never been so ecstatic to have my breath taken away
by such an impact.
5. There was a certain amount of calm that swept over me the night
I watched you sleep soundly in the passenger seat of my car; you were
breathing shallow, neon lights reflecting off your skin. I couldn’t help
but feel a little ache within each vein of my heart when you grabbed at my hand in your slumber, grasping it tightly in yours.
It was in that moment that I realized I wasn’t the only person in the world who needed someone, and the thought of being your someone lit a fire in the pit of my stomach; I’d love to be your hearth for eternity.
6. Your kisses have now begun to echo across my skeleton at night;
bounce between joints, slip around bones, and sail through veins
like they know the route they create throughout my body like an interstate.
I tell you that one day, you’re bound to run out of gas; you’ll grow
tired and have to rest. You tell me that ghosts don’t sleep, and yours
is always with me when you cannot be.
I can still feel you in my sheets.
7. The more I let your hands wander, the firmer I believe you have a
touch crafted by gods.
You turn me into a believer of things I was so sure never existed;
like love for that matter.
8. I’ve written twenty-nine poems about you but burned nearly
4/5ths of them because the words can’t even raise a finger
to how well your lips can kiss a novel on my own.
9. I’ve spent a vast majority of my life giving pieces of myself
over to people who decided in the end to bury them in the
soft dirt of their hearts.
The first day I met you, you told me you were not afraid to
rob graves in order to make me whole again.
10. What I lack in self-control I make up for in adoration for you.
So when it’s 2 AM and I can’t breathe against the shadows trying
to suffocate me, and you’re sleeping soundly with the night
pressed against your eyelids, I will use that affection to form a
shield around myself.
You are the strongest form of protection I’ve ever come across.
11. My fingers have started to trail over your skin as if you are
composed of piano keys; I’ve never known how to play a
symphony, but I damn sure come close when I can feel the
soft pulse of your heartbeat beneath my fingertips.
12. You introduced to me to alcohol; watched over me while
the poison swept through my bloodstream like a tornado
ripping across the open fields of Texas. And though it may
make me stumble, nothing has ever made me fall as hard
as I did into you.
13. I realized I had fallen in love with you when you didn’t
acknowledge the scars scattered about my surface. You told me
you never would have even noticed if I had not said something
because you were not focused on what I saw as flaws in myself,
you only saw the curve of my smile or the way my eyes lit up
when I caught you staring while my head was turned.
You make me feel like a sculpture in the finest of museums,
and your gaze on my cracked, marble surface is the only
one that can mend those fissures.
14. Even when your arms are not laced around my waist
you hold me together. You are a dock for me to anchor
my worried mind at; gentle waves lapping at the sides
of my vessel after harsh currents have battered me.
15. My throat tends to close up when truth rises inside
of it, bubbling up to the tip of my tongue until I swallow
it out of fear.
With you, there is no fear, only understanding. And now,
in this gas chamber of a skull, I can breathe easy knowing
you are the oxygen fueling me.
16. I can’t remember what any other lover’s hands besides
yours felt like crossing my skin. You’ve placed a blanket over
my skeleton that has never kept me warmer.
17. The slope of your shoulder blades, the divots in your
collarbones, the dips beneath your hips; your body
is braille, and I finally understand what it’s like to read
and comprehend with your eyes closed.
I read about past loves across your skin, about where
each sparse freckle arose and why a scar popped up
there and a scratch never healed completely here and
I wondered if maybe I could be the one to fix it because
when your fingers are exploring my body like map I
can’t recall ever deliberately misshaping the flesh covering
my wrists. You make me feel as if I am a forest untouched
by the greedy hands of those around me.
18. When I say I’m hard to love, I mean to say that I’m a
difficult lover to deal with. I either love so hard that a part
of you gets woven into my psyche or I stand by your side
ready to flee, boots laced tight for when you realize I’m
not what you thought I was.
I never expected for you to say you’d run after me, nor did
I think I’d get threaded through your mind just as easily
as you did me.
19. I told you I was made of glass, that I had been scuffed
over and scraped across so much that only a few clear
spaces remained.
You smirked, took a hammer to my pessimism, and made
a mosaic out of me.
20. I can’t tell you how much time has passed when you’re
sleeping beside me, I just know that I can never sleep.
I can’t stop staring at the artery in your neck; the pulsing
proves to me that you are actually there. My fingers refuse
to stop painting invisible portraits across your chest; I understand
now that I don’t have to create anything on you or write anything
about you in order for you to be beautiful.
21. I know I’m in love with you because the rise and fall of your
chest is enough to make me smile. I know I’m in love with you
because your name tastes like candy on my tongue, and I love it
despite not having a sweet tooth. I know I’m in love with you
because my brain knows to shut up in your presence and let
my heart speak instead.
—  21 reasons why i know i’m in love with you // Haley Hendrick