I learned your profile by following you around with sideward glances, sly shifts of my eyes to one side or the other, trying to catch your shadow before you caught mine.
I learned your voice by standing back and listening, memorizing the way you exaggerate your vowels and patter around your consonants. I never even noticed your accent because it sounded like mine and it made me smile.
I learned your stubble by observing how tired you looked…less hours meant more shadow and I liked it that way, dark but inviting.
I learned the quiet simplicity of your hands by holding my breath every time you touched my arm, playfully squeezed my sides, or quickly touched the small of my back. I lived for those pauses in air and heartbeats.
I learned your favorite words by enticing them out of you. Being quiet for once in my talkative life and letting you teach me things about life, love, and pain allowed me to explore the crevices in your story, the cracks in your self-murmured biography.
I learned to recognize when you were sad…that when you were quiet or avoided my green eyes with your warm brown ones that something was wrong. I dreaded these days because they made me sad too…it hurt me before I learned that it wasn’t me, it was her, and it hurt even more after you told me I could never change that.
I learned to wait for you…to wait for you to offer me a smile, to placate me with a touch, to grace me with your words, or to amaze me with your beauty. I waited for a week at a time, then a month, then a semester, and would have forever had you not told me stop waiting, to stop learning.
I learned you.
You never learned me.