She Can Keep The Best Of You

if she reads the poems, if she asks, tell her you’re sorry. tell her you love her. tell her you love her gentle and warm. tell her you love her because it’s the truth.

but don’t forget you loved me, too.

tell her you love her, but tell her you loved me black and blue. tell her i loved you ragged. tell her you couldn’t make love to me without leaving a bruise.

how you still had the leather belt in one hand when you took my face in the other the first time you whispered “i love you.”

tell her how our mouths waltzed among the comets, how we kissed and built a sanctuary among the stars. tell her my name still glows bright and sticks to your tongue.

tell her you cannot help but still think of me.

tell her you compared her ferocity to mine. tell her about the storm behind my eyes, how they pleaded with yours when you spoke of her. how you held me in your arms when you told me she hates putting her hand in yours. tell her how for you i would have given it all.

tell her you love her, but tell her you told me i felt like home.

tell her you weren’t brave enough to love this hard.

tell her she was the easier choice.

tell her how you’re whisked away from her by the autumn breeze, under the full moon, and in the middle of that song.

tell her you’ll always remember me. how could you not?

tell her i loved you as much as i could ever love anybody without you ever giving me anything.

tell her she can keep the best of you, i’ve loved the worst parts of you.

tell her how much you hurt me over the years, and how all i ever felt was love. tell her about how this is my beauty, not yours.

Houston-based writer and artist.

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