I want to know you like I’ve studied your language, failed, found a tutor, studied long and hard with index cards, took your exam, got a C, broke down and cried, begged for extra credit, stayed up for nights on end building a scale replica of your likeness, gave a public presentation on the metaphoric significance of us meeting in relationship to the chaos of dust in the cosmos, studied more, slept less, took your little blue book final and narrowly escaped the semester with a B+, I can do better, I’ll never stop learning, I want to know you like I’ll never stop knowing you, minored in, majored in, bachelors, masters, doctorate, I’ll keep studying.
The year I learned to hone honesty in the direction of travel, while moving toward you at the speed of forgiving myself, was the same year I learned the distance between my heart and the roof of my mouth. It was four years ago. The same year the cavemen alive in my chest rubbed everything together the right way, discovered fire, and danced, warm—they knew they were finally on to something.
The last time we talked I must’ve looked like a magician with the way I kept masking the truth. The last time we talked I forgot to mention that I want to be a decorative strand of lights still hanging in your residence long after the holiday. Long after the party. Long after the day we met and the celebrating and the moment when I meant something. I want to remain long after my obvious purpose not because you forgot me or because you’re lazy or because I’m hard to reach but because we both found a place we can occupy together pleasant and still fill it with light and sound long before the holiday. Before the party. Before we bring meaning to the silence that exists between occasions.
We are at best a species that knows both how to draw penises on walls in public places and to wash our hands accordingly.
It might’ve looked as though I was turning away, it might’ve appeared as though I was panning for the nearest escape route, it’s just that twelve years of Catholic schooling taught me to turn the other cheek. And so I turned and turned and turned like a hurricane, alphabetically named, temperamental and temporary.