I like how you mispronounce words sometimes, how you fumble and stammer and stutter looking for the right ones to say and the right ways to say them. I appreciate that you find language challenging, because it is, because everything manmade is challenging. Including man, including you.
When you sleep on your side, I like to map the constellations between your beauty marks freckles pimples, the minuscule mountains that sprinkle your back. I like the tufts of hair you forgot to shave and the way you smell when you haven’t showered in a while; I like the sleep left in your eyes.
I like the way your skin dies in the middle of the night, how you die from embarrassment the next morning; how you writhe in the snake casing you’ve left behind. I like that you think pillow snowflakes carry more weight than pillow talk; that you think my opinion of you is so fickle that it could change overnight. (It’s not.)
I enjoy seeing you insecure, vulnerable. I like to watch red steam light up your cheeks, a spreading mist of shame when you think you’ve done something unacceptable like missing a step on the stairs or not having the perfect answer to something I’ve said. It’s like you honestly don’t know how wonderful you are, it’s like you have no idea.
The burns, the scars, the black and blues on your face body heart, I want to know their stories. I want to know what hurt you, who hurt you, how bad the damage is. I like your hard, ugly toenails and the layer of fat that lines your belly, the soft parts you try to hide. It’s okay to be soft, sometimes.
I appreciate your ability to get inappropriately angry as much as I appreciate your willingness to apologize afterward. I like how your passion manifests unpredictably and uncontrollably, how your feelings cannot be caged or concealed, how you’re incapable of apathy.
I like how you can’t dance, how you have pedestrian taste in music, how the worst song on every album is your favorite. I like how enthusiastic you are when you hear it, it’s like you don’t know how terrible it is, it’s like maybe how you’re able to love someone like me. (Perhaps that’s your biggest flaw, perhaps that’s the one I love most.)
Your flaws single you out, set you apart, make you different from the rest, and thank god. I don’t just
put up with settle for accept your blemishes, I like them. I like them because they make you human, and humans are easier to love than photographs and illusions and ideals; humans fit more easily between arms and between legs; humans are welcome to their imperfections because if there’s one thing humans can do perfectly, it’s love. Humans can love, they can do it flawlessly.