You only love me because I’m familiar. Because the touch of my hand on your skin is warm and soft and brings you to that little apartment on A Street, to the pillows nested around our sleeping bodies, to my legs resting in your lap, falling asleep to the hum of the t.v. and the overhead fan on those sticky summer nights.
You only love me because I’m familiar. Because my kiss tastes like the chocolate you’d buy for me at the gas station, every time we stopped, or the sweets I’d bake by the half-light of the stove well after midnight. Because our lips, together, bring back memories of beers in the middle of June or winter nights at our favorite Mexican restaurant, trading bite for bite, losing money and time and any fear we might have had of falling too deep too soon.
You only love me because I’m familiar. Because you fall into old patterns when you talk to me, laughing at the same jokes, speaking with the same mix of tenderness and stubbornness you always did with me. Because you don’t have to think—about what I’d like to hear you say or how I’d like to hear you say it, and still, you take too long to text me back, still, we play the same games.
You only love me because I’m familiar. Because you have yet to fall into a body that doesn’t bring back the memory of me, of my laughter filling the quiet of your room, my hair spilling across your pillow, my hands reaching across the space between us to pull you closer. Because you’ve been searching, or maybe you haven’t at all, and you’ve found yourself back at my feet, the same feet that used to stretch out the passenger window of your car, dancing in the sun.
You only love me because I’m familiar. Because you’ve convinced yourself that starting over is too scary, and that what you’ve had, could have again, is far greater than new lips, new hands, a new heart beating wildly in your palm.
You only love me because I’m familiar. But what about the hands you’ve yet to hold, what about the touch that grazes over your skin and sets fire to you, somewhere deep inside? What about the lips that taste foreign and exciting and terrifying and new?
Do you ever put your mouth on mine, and wonder what it would be like to taste something you’ve never known? Do you ever reach for me and wonder what it would be like to find someone else sleeping next to you?
Because my greatest fear is that one day you will.