I Love You Because I Can’t Have All Of You

saritawalsh
saritawalsh

I’ll never have all of you. If I could—if I could have every square inch of you to hold in my hands—my want would wane. If every time I called, you answered, you’d silence the sweet dizzy of your uncertain hello.

You slip through my fingers. I can’t always locate you. Even on days when I’m sure I know your reflection better than mine, you shift, and I see shadow that molds your face in a wildly unfamiliar light. When you surprise me, it’s never packaged as surprise.

The first time you called me baby, it was in a dream. You weren’t mine yet, but I was yours—another reason I love you still—and you clawed at me in the middle of the night, whispering “baby” till I fell asleep, too. Now when you call me baby, it leaves me restless till I’m dreaming.

I get nervous every time I see you for the first time in weeks. We’re awkward, you know. We’re terribly awkward. We don’t jump into each other’s arms, even though our absurd smiles invite the action. We see each other and shift and grin and crawl closer till we’re kissing. Is he as happy to see me as I am to see him? Is this feeling of sparkle and vomit in my stomach quite natural? These questions belong to a girl very much in love.

I’m so curious about you that sometimes, it’s like you’re not even there.

You are, today, as unknowable to me as you were before I knew you. I’m so curious about you that sometimes, it’s like you’re not even there. So I’m left with my face in your undershirt, looking for your scent. It’s overwhelming and perfect. The most perfect, singular scent I’ve ever smelled. It smells like Old Spice. How fucking singular is that.

I’m sure you won’t believe it, but, I love you because you’ve been in love before. I don’t quite know the shape or the measure of that love, but I know it was, so I can never occupy all of your corners. I love you because I’m not the only person who’s made you soft.

You don’t give me purpose. That would assume there are steps I could follow to make you do or be something. Those steps, however, don’t exist. You resist docility almost as fiercely as I do (but not quite). You’re a colossal pain in my ass.

With a mirror as big as your thumb, I reflect all of you. I see you squirm as you make yourself in my vision, carefully omitting the parts that would let me know too much. Since when do you employ grammatically incorrect texting shorthand? When we met, you are was you are, never ur.

You make lists and I make trouble. You make trouble, too. But it’s never on the list; I never see it coming. Even though you are no less predictable than most people. Most people are very predictable.

For every face you show me, you keep me looking for two. And when I bring your face close to mine, I see two hundred different versions of you in sequence. I have crippling inattention, so thank god for that. TC mark

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