She does love you, but she’s terrified.
You are a beast straight out of a children’s book. You smile at her, and what she sees is wonderful and terrifying. Your love looks like something she only recognizes from an old photograph or daydream. In person, it grows claws, it makes magic, it has teeth.
She’s burned her hand on the stove before, but this is a forest fire and she’s in the middle of a hike she doesn’t know the path of. She wants you to know that she’s brave enough for this, but she needs a roadmap, needs a north star, needs something promising on the horizon.
Because she does love you, but she’s terrified. By the lavender and the pots and the window, she watches the village that survived the storms. The houses are broken through and thatched up, roofs still opening their mouths up for more water.
Thirsty, but careful with what they have left.
You press her into the crescent moon, you make love to her against the stars. When you look at her that way, she calls it Genesis. When you say the things you do, she opens up her wounds and hands you both a bandage and a knife. You decide.
She writes your middle name in ink above her hipbone. She prolongs the bruise you left on her neck. She only lets her heart out when it’s on a leash.
Open, but leave your shoes at the door.
Thirsty, but careful with what she has left.