I don’t know how to make love last forever.
This is a fault I have perhaps always possessed.
I don’t know how to fall without tripping somewhere along the way. I don’t know how to fall without picking myself back up, brushing the dirt from my skin and sprinting on alone. I don’t know how to fall and stay down.
I don’t know how to do that. I never have.
I don’t know how to love you in a way that moves forward. In a way that predicts futures and families and forevers. I don’t know how to stand confidently in front of you and say I’ll never want to leave and not return. I don’t know how anyone wants one thing forever. I don’t know if that’s a capability I possess.
I don’t understand why if I’m not grasping your hand in mine at the end of my eighty-some years, it means our love failed. I don’t understand why we’re meant to bend and mold and cram ourselves into spaces that we no longer fit to keep calling it love, when letting each other go is called giving up. I don’t understand why something we could experience so deeply and fully and intensively means anything less because it didn’t last for the rest of our lives.
I don’t understand that about love. Maybe I never will.
But here is what I do know what to do: I know how to love you hard, now.
I know how to let forever linger in the moments when you’re smiling and the whole world illuminates around you. I know how to let love stretch indefinitely in the moments where your lips hover just beyond mine and I can’t figure out where my nerves end and yours begin. I only know how to delve so deeply into you that I’m not sure if I’ll ever find my way out.
And I don’t know how to not let that be enough.
I don’t know how to demand that we make this stretch forever – that we keep on committing to each other if the stakes are down and the timing’s wrong and nothing about this makes sense. I don’t know how to insist that we limit and lessen the brilliance of the lives we could be living should we choose to someday go our separate ways. I don’t know how to want anything less than the world for you and call it love.
And so what if we let that be enough?
What if I can love you more in a single moment when you’re lying asleep beside me, with the light filtering in around your skin and your body curving up against mine than other people love each other in a whole lifetime?
What if I can discover more about you and about myself within a single year with you by my side than other people find out over fifty? What if we are not what each other needs forever but we’re what each of us needs badly right now and we can let that be enough?
What if not every love story get that happily ever after but it turns out that ours doesn’t need one? What if we just get a happily-right-now and for you and I, that gets to be enough?
What if people like you and I don’t need to know how to make things last forever?
Because maybe nothing worth having ever really does anyway.