“I’m sorry about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine.”
—Richard Siken from “Little Beast”
“You happened to me. You were as deep down as I’ve ever been. You were inside me like my pulse.”
—Marilyn Hacker from “Nearly a Valediction”
“I don’t want to be around you. I don’t want to drink you in. I want to walk into the heart of you and never walk back out. “
—Nico Alvarado from “Tim Riggins Speaks of Waterfalls”
“Take me to your trees. Take me to your breakfasts, your sunsets, your bad dreams, your shoes, your nouns. Take me to your fingers.”
—Margaret Atwood from “The Good Bones”
“When I don’t touch you it’s a mistake in any life, in each place and forever.”
—Bob Hicok from “Other Lives and Dimensions and Finally a Love Poem”
“When I haven’t been kissed in a long time, I create civil disturbances, then insult the cops who show up, till one of them grabs me by the collar and hurls me up against the squad car, so I can remember, at least for a moment, what it’s like to be touched.”
—Jeffrey McDaniel, "When a Man Hasn’t Been Kissed”
“Kiss the mouth which tells you, here,
here is the world. This mouth. This laughter. These temple bones.”
—Galway Kinnell from "Little Sleep’s Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight”
“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Until I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, until I find you again.”
—Phillip Pullman from "The Amber Spyglass”
“I wanted to write ‘stay’ on your sides,
surround your bed with oceans of salt.
I hope he folds you into a fox, loves you like a splintered arrow, brandishes the kill of your lips. May the bouquet of your hips wither. May the wolves forget your name.”
“I love you. If you hadn’t existed I would have had to invent you.”
–Elaine Dundy from “The Dud Avocado”
“And I’d choose you; in a hundred different lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.”
“The first time I asked you on a date, after you hung up, I held the air between our phones against my ear and whispered, ‘You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.’”
“I will come back from the dead for you.”
—Richard Siken from “You Are Jeff”
“Do you want it? Do you want anything I have? Will you throw me to the ground like you mean it, reach inside and wrestle it out with your bare hands? If you love me, Henry, you don’t love me
in a way I understand.”
—Richard Siken from "Wishbone”
“Here we are, at the place where I get to beg for it. Where I get to say ‘Please,
for just one night, will you lay down next to me? We can leave our clothes on,
we can stay all buttoned up?’ But we both know how it goes–– I say I want you inside me and you hold my head underwater. I say I want you inside me and you split me open with a knife.”
—Richard Siken from "Wishbone”
“Even when I’m dead, I’ll swim through the Earth like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.”
Our love isn’t the kind they make movies about or write about in books. It isn’t the red hot burning desire and passion that society tells us is what love looks like. Our love isn’t like that because our love is real. They don’t write stories about love like ours because love like ours isn’t always pretty; it isn’t perfect; it isn’t the kind of love that people search for their whole lives.
Our love is binge watching Lost until it’s so late we can barely keep our eyes open,
And our love is falling asleep in the middle of an episode with my head in your lap.
Our love is crying on the phone at two in the morning because I’m afraid you’ll forget me after being apart for so long,
And our love is you telling me you could never forget me.
Our love is going to the gym together, constantly competing to see who can run the farthest on the treadmill,
And our love is not letting it become a competition and always encouraging and pushing one another to do our best.
Our love is being jealous of your ex because I think she’s prettier, and I’m afraid she’ll steal you away from me,
And our love is you reminding me that I’m yours now, and you only love me.
Our love is talking about life over an ice cream sundae that you bought for us in the middle of the night,
And our love is you always offering me the last bite even though I’ll say you can have it, but you’ll politely decline, and I’ll end up eating it anyway.
Our love is throwing up all over you and crying because I’m so embarrassed about it,
And our love is you telling me it’s okay and still being able to smile at me when my lunch is all over your chest.
Our love is getting high in the woods and then trying to hide our glassy eyes and far off gazes from your roommates,
And our love is making out on your bed and having to pause every now and then because I can’t contain my giggling.
Our love is accidentally knocking over the plants that you worked so hard on and trying to get the dirt out of the carpet before you come back,
And our love is you forgiving me because you know it was an accident and putting them back in the pots anyway.
Our love is squeezing to fit with you on the twin size bed in your dorm room and falling asleep to the sound of your heartbeat,
And our love is waking up the next morning sore and restless, but happy because the first thing I get to see is your face.
Our love is breaking up with me and begging me to say something, anything, but I can’t because all I can think about is how empty my life will be without you,
And our love is saying you’re sorry and that you love me the next day and crying as you tell me that you’ll never leave me again.
Our love is crying in my car over a pizza with my ex because I’m afraid I’ve lost you,
And our love is telling me you’re still mine and I could never lose you.
Our love is getting the wrong lid for my coffee on our first date and desperately trying in vain to fit it on my cup without you noticing, but you saw and were trying to hide a smile,
And love is driving downtown back to the little coffee shop where it all happened and reliving it over and over again.
Our love is misunderstanding one another and arguing over a problem that doesn’t even exist,
And our love is being able to say ‘I’m sorry’ because we refuse to let something so insignificant come between us.
Our love is arguing over who gets to control the aux cord because you like rap, and I like pop punk,
And our love is memorizing your favorite songs so I can surprise you the next time it comes on by singing along to it with you.
Our love is being unsure if we can overcome our differences and stay together,
And our love is realizing that our differences shouldn’t drive us apart, but that we should learn and grow from them.
Our love is blowing up your phone constantly looking for reassurance that you still want to be with me,
And our love is you putting up with me anyway and telling me that I don’t need to worry and that you love me.
Our love is making love in the middle of the day with the shades closed and you constantly shushing me because you’re roommates might hear,
And our love is lying in bed afterwards, wrapped in each other’s arms.
Our love is the good and the bad,
the beautiful times we share and the heartache when we’re apart,
the nights of passionate love and the nights of passionate screaming and crying,
the moments when it feels like we’ll be together forever, and the moments when it feels like everything is falling apart,
the times we tell each other “I love you” and the times we’re too proud to say it, even though we both know it’s still true.
Our love is far from perfect, but it’s ours, and I wouldn’t trade those sleepless nights and tear-soaked pillow cases for anything else in the world because I’d rather be crying over you than forcing a smile for someone else.