The fifth time that you said you were leaving,
you started sleeping on the dining room floor.
I would sneak in between two and three am,
the floorboards creaking and our hearts buckling under the weight
of all the worlds we had not chosen
and I’d curl in beside you,
pulling crumpled-up love letters from the crevices
of the castles you would make out of sheets.
It all seemed so simple, in the moonlight
with your drowsy arms reaching out around me
and our love letters littering the floor, we could almost pretend
that the Universe wasn’t unhinging around us,
rearranging while we lay there so still.
I loved you so much that it was fucked up.
And that became a question that would burn on my tongue for years after you left.
“It’s going well,” friends would coo over photos of their new significant other. “We’re going on vacation together.”
“Right, right,” I’d want to tell them, “But is it totally fucked, how much you love them?”
Did their arrival crash-land your central nervous system;
Endings firing and systems re-wiring and the touch
of their hands igniting landmines
through the valleys of your skin?
And when they sleep, is there a Universe that stretches
in between their shoulder blades,
Constellations you can map inside their freckles,
and galaxies expanding with each breath?
When they are happy, does the whole world rise to meet them,
like the greatest thaw of springtime taking hold inside their smile
and are you almost too afraid to touch them sometimes,
As though something that brilliant and pure could not possibly exist in human form,
As though the trace of their skin upon yours
may somehow shatter their fragile other-verse,
crumbling them back into the stardust
they were made of all along?
Do you love them so much that you would promise them
a world you couldn’t possibly deliver
And would you sleep on the dining room floor
every evening for the rest of your existence
if you thought that it might make them stay?
And during the coldest of hours
When the springtime in their smile has frosted over,
When the dilapidated remnants of their infamous crash landing turns to dust and the galaxy that stretches in their rib cage flares and disappears into darkness
how much are you going to love them, then?
Would you swallow their pain like a poison,
letting it sink into your bloodstream, infiltrating the whole of your heart?
And if the winter returned to their smile
and their eyes could no longer meet your gaze,
would you love them still?
Would you recite every love letter you wrote them, begging their extinguished solar system to rebuild itself alongside yours,
or would you pack the letters into a box,
return the cushions to the living room couch,
close the dining room door and let the seasons of their heart
just keep on changing?
I know that you love them so much but what I’m asking you here is a question that I used to ask myself
every morning while the moonlight filtered in around my skin,
creating a prism that I could have stayed frozen forever within,
I know that you love them so much
But could you love them enough
To let them go?