How I Love

It always seems to be a similar path,
this one I go down.

strung along, hanging on to the back of jean pockets and
holding on to loose hands
clinging just gently enough to not be a bother,
this is how I love.

insecure
like a mid day shadow peeking out to make it’s presence known
quietly, but not too loud as to call attention,
this is how I love.

like a peach picked up at the market
promising sweet no matter how bruised
I care only to keep the tastebuds wanting,
this is how I love.

cautious of being too much,
constantly afraid that I am,
conscious of how easily I could be replaced,
this is how I love.

one sided like
skin meeting ink
you will be the tattoo gun and
I will be the swollen reminder
you will go unharmed while
I am marked permanent,
this is how I love.

twinge-yearning,
nail-pulling,
folding back the flesh.
this is how I love and
I know how this goes

you’ll look at other girls and
I’ll look at you the way the land looked
at rain after the first drought

you’ll give away glimpses of your smile to strangers and
I’ll give you all of me like it’s possible
to grow back complete

you’ll put your arms around hips that aren’t mine and
I’ll feel my own expand with envy

you’ll toss around the word love and
I’ll attempt to catch it every time it lands
near someone else’s feet

you’ll carry other names in your mouth while
yours will be the only one in mine, tucked
safely under the tongue

you’ll provide me reassurance without an asking for it and
I’ll pretend I don’t care about a thing in the world when
really it is you who has become my entire universe

you’ll play me the way that I’m used to and
I’ll laugh like it’s a game I never wanted to win anyway
because
I hate losing things I love

you’ll make me swell empty without intending to and
I’ll make you full with whatever I have to offer

you’ll inflict sadness unknowingly and
I’ll make you happy like it’s a method for survival,
like it’s my god damn purpose for existing

this is how I love.
not too tightly, just soft enough for your liking
here I am, programmed for the pleasing
I will hang on like a child’s fist does a dandelion
light enough to keep the stem intact
leaving room for your fingers to wrap around
praying you wont let go but
this is how I love and I know how it goes
how it will go
destined to meet the ground eventually after
being dragged along knowingly
I am
aware of how it is,
the same,
always
this is how I love for
I do not know any other way

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