It is morning and I’m covering my mouth with both hands. It is too soon for you to smell me without toothpaste. Me, without effort. Me, at my most vulnerable. I turn on my side, running my tongue along my teeth, as if this can somehow clean them.
You attempt a terrible Jimmy Stewart impression and immediately force my mouth free. I’m laughing with a boldness that means breath everywhere. Like I’m voluntarily shouting, “Here I am! In all my morning glory!” My unkept glory. My utterly messy glory.
Take it. Take it all. Because it’s a rarity that I’m willing to give the unfiltered version. I’ve learned how to present the picture I think they want. Ask the boys, they’ll agree. I give the performance they want. And I’ll disappear before they learn the encore is me, emotionally invested. Me, unkept. Messy. Wanting something like love to free me.
But you hold my head with both of your hands and have never told me I’m wrong for crying when I see roadkill. I think, maybe this time it makes sense. Maybe this time I’m not auditioning for the part.
We are no longer teenagers, but I still imagine kissing you on top of every car I see. Not sure why this is my fantasy, but you did always get my motor running. I think of how you’d tease me for that terrible pun. Or how we could make every single backseat rock. How we’d learn to perfect our, “I’m so sorry, Officer!” tones when someone decided to knock. You and I, we’ve got something.
I don’t think about kissing most people I meet. I will wonder if they are happy, or if they have nice family. But I’m not often thirsting for a chance. I’m usually waiting for a moment alone. A wolf, I do not know how I’m supposed to play nice with the rest of society.
But there you were, waiting to howl at the moon with me. I think of kissing you in every room of the house. In the kitchen. The foyer. The bathroom. Your sister’s room. I can’t help this mind of mine, the way I want to love you every place I go. I want to love you constantly.