This Is How We Almost Loved Each Other

Nathan Congleton
Nathan Congleton

This is how we almost loved each other.

Drunk in beds that couldn’t fit us both. Your legs dangled over the edge and I kept apologizing. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Are you uncomfortable?” You pulled me inside your arms and I’d never felt so small. You were at least three times my size, and I knew the damage you could do. The damage we could do. So you whispered your words instead. You are all I want.

This is how we almost loved each other.

We lullabied each other into half promises as soon as the moon would appear. You tasted like ripe plums that summer. I pulled you into my mouth whenever I had the chance. I thought I could hold you there long enough. Everything smelled like lilacs. You said it was just my imagination, that there weren’t any flowers nearby. But you pinned your soul on my wrist like a corsage. I still have some of the petals.

This is how we almost loved each other.

With our mouths constantly open, but our hearts on opposite sides of the coast. Sometimes, I can still hear your voice. But your heartbeat is a language I could never fully speak.

This is how we almost loved each other.

We fought with silent communication. The forlorn typing bubble, or the blueness of when you finally said what you meant. And I sobbed into my pillow. So much blue, I couldn’t tell where the sky ended and we began.

This is how we almost loved each other.

When you drove an hour and a half to sit by my side. I never asked. But, I guess, neither did you.

This is how we almost loved each other.

The night we climbed a thousand stars so we could look each other face-to-face. You said, “I’m afraid you are better than me.” I kissed your thin lips and said, “Darling, everyone is better than us. We’re utter fools.”

This is how we almost loved each other.

Always in pieces. Never totally complete. Like when you get somewhere two minutes after they close the shop. Or refusing to give away that one shirt that almost fits. The relationship that wasn’t ever quite all the way. But oh, how perfectly we almost fit. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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