We will never love each other on Sunday mornings. The most romantic time of the week because it is always sunny and crisp even when it’s not. Sundays are for love, not just lovers. They’re for crackling brown paper bags, bagel runs, and coffee steam intertwined with day old aftershave on prickly but soft necks. We will never love each other in sweats, me and my messy bun, you and your dark stubble, when I feel my sexiest and you your comfiest, when we can imagine a common future and voice an understanding that our desire for big lives does not exclude slow mornings like this.
We will never love each other sleep rumpled and sheet creased, in that moment of rebirth and reentry back into worldly bodies. In that split second before I check my phone and you turn on the news, before reality crashes down on our sleep-wearied beings. You will never get to love me when I am at my most innocent and grumpy, and I will never get to love you at your most wise, speaking the beautiful and nonsensical gibberish of a child enlightened by their ignorance.
You will never love me when my hair is matted to my face from feverish sleeps. When the most intimate gesture I crave is a cool hand on my forehead. I will never love you when you barricade yourself in bed with half drunk cups and half eaten crackers, when fifty Jimmy Fallon videos cannot crack a smile on your face, and our flannel sheets feel like sandpaper. We will not love each other when I miss my mother something fierce and I am so acutely aware of my body that I can feel it falling apart. I will never love you enough to let you figure out how to piece me back together.
We will never love each other when I cry myself to sleep for no other reason than that I remember how sad and lonely this life can be. You will never love me with big thumbs rubbing tears away, callouses catching in my eyelashes or by tucking loose strands of hair behind my ear. By massaging my earlobes, chucking my chin, and calling me kid. We will never love each other with interlocked fingers beneath tables, with searing touches of hip bones and neck curvatures, and even more sensual caresses – broad hands rubbing clothed backs in comfort, reassurance, presence.
We will never love each other with feet you cannot feel because you were so engrossed in your book you forgot to cover them. We will never love each other as I struggle to stand without knocking over the stacks of freshly folded laundry I have covered myself with and as I leave behind an eternal trail of nail polish chips, bobby pins, and gum wrappers. We will never love each other as you struggle with wanting to clean up my mess, but not forget where I’ve gone.
We will never love each other as we fall deeply in love with the other’s favorite TV characters, with each other’s friends, with the way you love soccer and I love human triumph. We will never love each other as my shower fresh face and dripping hair peek around the door to see if anyone is around, as I bound naked to my room when the coast is clear, heart beating at this little exhibition of freedom.
We will never love each other as stickies overtake your neat desktop full of quotes and ideas to be thought through at a later date. We will never love each other when our faces glow in the dark from my phone screen as I frantically type the notes of my racing mind, keeping us both awake. We will never love each other late at night when I am afraid of being forgotten and you are afraid of being futile. We will never love each other when I want to feel small. When I crave a rough embrace bigger than my own. When my thoughts and personality feel too big for my frame and I need you to hold me back together.
We will never love each other as the skin on our knuckles cracks and bloodies and our kisses taste like bee’s wax. When we sleep naked out of necessity, not pleasure, rearranging ourselves so only our negative spaces touch. We will never love each other in sweaters, or when wind through open windows raises goose bumps on our bellies. We won’t love each other in any season because you will never love me like I need to be loved. Because even if you wanted to love me (which you don’t) I would never let you. Because we are not right for each other. Because we are so busy being ourselves we don’t know how to share that with another person. We are two shadows and we will never love each other because shadows cannot hold one another.