It Has Always Been You

Couple kissing, embracing surrounded by concrete and graffiti
Paolo Raeli

i have loved you like a candle flame. like a star too big to fall from grace. a winter storm. an unopened book. a sleeping meadow. a humid august. a wishing well.

i have loved you like the soles of shoes worn in every country. like the back of my hand. like the inside of my eyelids. like a breath. like every breath.

i have loved you into existence. loved your made up hands and the tilt of your imagined smile. loved them so long they have grown freckled and wrinkled in the sun. loved them so fiercely i recognize them when they are someone else’s hands. when it is someone else’s laughter. which is to say, i have looked for you everywhere.

i have loved you with this heart that catches stories like fireflies. with this mind that spins and spins and never lands on anything solid. i have loved you with two left feet, and calluses on both of them.

do you understand? i have loved you like thunder. i have been the thrash and rumble. i have held faith like earth sized mountains. with an unmoving, unshakable consistency.

sometimes i fold myself like origami, waiting. sometimes laughter pours from the rafters of me, and i am made up of tiny little bells. all ringing, ringing. coaching the silence into celebration.

do you understand yet?

i have loved you for an instant. for every instant. for a lifetime.

even when i did not know you. even when i did not know how we would find each other. even then. it has always been you. i knew that then. i know it now. in the palms of my hands. in the base of my spine. in the bones and the muscles and the fibers. it has always been you. TC mark

Alison Malee

Alison Malee is an accomplished poet, author, and actress. Read her book Shifting Bone here.

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“I hope you heal. I hope you find yourself again. I hope you find something that burns a fire in your soul. I hope you find the rays of sunlight even on your darkest days. I want you to know that you’re going to be okay.” — Shivani Sonawane

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