She calls me “love” like I have her home beneath my skin – like my veins are somewhere she could crawl up into and never leave. I call her “beautiful” like she has gold dust beneath her fingernails – like everything she’ll come to touch cannot remain as it was. But she will remain. She will stay. She will say she is homesick and I’ll know that she wants to be kissed gently like “Will you sit with me for a while? Will you hold my hand like it’s only you that’s keeping me from falling apart?” So I welcome her lips and her fingers like I’m opening the door.
I adore her.
I don’t know if my skin is good enough for her to live in. There are marks on the walls and stains from other lovers and if you run your fingers along certain parts you’ll find dust and memories that haven’t been moved in a while. There’s an attic where I keep the good times and I know if she ever opens it she’ll doubt how good she is. The basement is dark and cold and I hope she never wanders down there alone. I keep my monsters chained up there. I know when they need to feed.
I will never ask her to offer herself for their appetite.
Some say love, it is a river… and there is too much water under this bridge to think of coming up for air. So I breathe her in. I do not think of drowning because this tumbling is immersed in her. We are the other where limbs meet; we are no longer two – too entwined to swim apart. A part of me has always known that this will be our end. A surrender to what is, a dependence on what will be. We will endure. Here. In this home – with both our heartbeats in my bloodstream.
Perhaps this is love.