Fresh peach juice stains our lips,

mud smears across our well-worn shoes

as we sit amidst the high grass

marking an intersection

of forest and farmland.

Having spent the peak hours of sunlight

chasing the trail of an ice age

I look now at your skin, tanning before my eyes,

the scruff on your face,

the way your hair embraces your earlobes,

the way your hands toss your peach pit deep into the grass

we sit among as if hiding from the world

and I feel a familiar smile crawl across my face.

out here, against the green and blue world,

under the bright sunlight

you are

love.

this peaceful, strong-hearted man

that I fall in love with the more you

tiptoe towards a swamp’s edge to find

the frog chorus,

and reach out to cradle my hand in yours

as we fall in step,

silent in the maze of trees.

Licking peach from your lips,

burying my hands in your hair,

my knees pressed firmly into the earth,

here

here is where I feel at home.

Feet first in eucalyptus bubbles,

a bottle of red wine within arm’s length

as my mind storms with thoughts:

your smile in the morning when I first turn my eyes to meet yours,

the sound of your laughter and the way it bends your body in half –

the way it yanks at the corners of your mouth

and flutters in your eyelids ,

the way I feel whenever I whisper, “I love you”

to your hazelnut eyes

and you grip my hand a little tighter in response.

I think of breakfast – “There’s always breakfast”

and grocery shopping at your side – smelling cinnamon sticks in the middle of the aisle.

I think of the way your body moves

when you climb,

when you fill with determination, strength, and become this solitary figure

fighting against gravity…

the bubbles dilute,

the wine bottle empties,

and I sit merely in fear

that I’ll never see these things,

these moments,

these flickers of love

again.

Waking up to 6:30 sun rays

and the morning gossip of the birds over their breakfast

you blink against the sudden bright world

we’ve stumbled into

and the slightest of smiles stretches between your ears.

a giggle escapes my lips

and I revel in the warmth of your bare chest

beneath my fingertips,

the comfort of your strong climbers’ arms

waking up my shoulders with

soft presses and caresses.

blankets cocooned around our legs and ankles

my heartbeat reaching out to press against your ribs,

an entanglement of our dreams

meeting the new day.

candlelit conversations seem a distant, foggy memory

as I rediscover the trails on your face,

the way your hair arches like the horizon around your ears,

the way you smell of mountains and chalk,

the way your smile

matches the smile I see in my dreams –

reaching from your chin to the tip of your head,

stirring stars behind your eyes

and soothing away all the worries in your face….

when you smile

I know you love me.

when I wake up to you,

to all the birds, the sun, that look in your eyes,

to that fresh sense of “good morning”,

well…

I know.

our legs intertwined across his carpet,

our arms forming a universe all their own

we sit immersed in the fragile fear

of love past fresh and not yet fully formed.

my heart beats out my ear drums,

as his falls to the floor,

watching my tears make their slow descent

and wondering perhaps

what emotions are meant for…

and yet to me – he still smells of fresh air,

of mountains I yearn to climb,

of trails I have yet to explore,

of hopes, dreams, goals, the future

he is possibility

possibility is afraid of me.

Tonight I experienced something I’ve never quite experienced before. A level of certainty I’m unfamiliar with. Perhaps I should call it a level of faith.

The man I love, the man who when I first met I knew I wanted to be with, this man sat across from me on his bed tonight and said to me, “I don’t feel like I love you as much as I should, or as much as I want to.” He went on to explain perhaps it was a mood swing, perhaps it was the sudden obsession with the physical in our relationship, and that he didn’t want to breakup – this was something he wanted to work on, feel out, understand further.

It was of course emotional to hear, but not as emotionally destructive as it would’ve been earlier in life, or with another person. For some reason I sat across from him going, “ok…I’ll give you what you need”. I listened, I gave him the time to talk it out, I responded with my thoughts on love. My new found thoughts on love – that a lot of lasting relationships is choice. It’s the choice to be with someone despite their flaws, it’s the choice to be with those flaws, to fight through the hard times.

I knew/know without a doubt that I will fight for this relationship. I lay there in his arms examining his face as he slowly let his eyelids drift after we talked about all the details of our situation and all I could think was, “This is what I want”.

I left not crying in the car to sad songs, but calmly listening to songs of the strength of love. “This love came back to me” one song crooned. And I believe that his love will come back to me, that its not that he doesn’t love me but that he doesn’t understand his own feelings, or he’s afraid of what he can feel for me.

Of course I could be terribly wrong, I could be back here in a few days crying, writing sad depressing poetry, cursing love for all its worth.

But for now – after being awake for 18 hours or so – I firmly believe I love this man. I firmly believe this man has the potential to be the man I spend my life with.

I love him.

You are but a shooting star

in the nighttime sky of my 20s.

You are a flicker of the love I hope to

burrow in as I grow older,

and perhaps you are a lesson

on what healthy love is meant to be.

I don’t know if our paths will ever grow parallel

or if you are merely a root I’ve had the pleasure of stumbling upon.

My certainty lies in the beating of my heart

when I see your smile stretch ear to ear,

it lies in the way your face lights up

when you walk up to the cafe counter

having come to greet me over a cup of coffee,

it lies in the way I can grasp your hand in mine

and whisper “I love you”

knowing I’ll get to see that grin,

that grin I fell in love with the very day I met you.

My certainty lies in that day,

when I sat exhausted over a coffee cup,

asking the typical first date questions

and I said to myself, “This is a man I want in my life”

I didn’t care the form, the title, the position,

It only mattered that you weren’t a fleeting glimpse,

you weren’t a stranger passing in this lifetime,

it mattered that you were someone who stayed,

who changed me with their laughter

and the way they fell asleep at night,

it mattered that you became someone

who would know me inside and out,

who would see me cry and hold my hand,

who would listen to me learn to accept my faults

and merely give reassurance that I’m not insane.

All that matters

is that you stay a piece in this puzzle of my life.

“Where do you see this going?”

The question whirls around the nooks and crannies of my brain

on constant repeat

“where..”

“where…”

“where……”

and yet I can’t find a way to put the words to my lips

‘it’s too soon to ask’ I assure myself

‘it’s too big of a question’

‘I won’t want to hear the answer’

because I guarantee he won’t know or he’ll say this is fun

or he’ll agree with my very first thought – it’s too soon to know.

and yet I swear to myself I know where I want this to go.

I’ve known since I met him. I’ve known.

today I blurted out at our brunch table

“I love you”

“a lot”

and squeezed his hands

when he met my eyes he was smiling ear to ear

bursting with the simple joy of

“I love you too” ‘

I don’t know what will become of this.

I don’t know why I leave and want to cry.

I don’t know why I’m so worried, so scared, so uncertain

and yet so full of certainty.

I’m convinced.

This is the man I want.

Above all else.

I want to love him for eternity

and I want him to fall in love more and more every day.

grasping at his fingertips

I drift to sleep

burrowing my face

into the crook of his neck

where I smell mountains and hear rivers

where my mind wanders to the sunrise of his smile

and I revel in the rhythm of his breathing

he is

a world all his own

rich in crevasses, summits, secrets, and dreams

his voice lilting in my memories,

his laughter like a romantic melody,

and his kiss

the soft press of a shooting, dwindling, dancing star

looking down on this world

this world of who he is

slowly whispering

the many paths I have to explore.

Waking up in his arms

hands extended to grip the edges of his headboard

birds chirping against the window pane

– nature’s alarm clock –

and he whispers in the soft, stumbling tone of waking up

“goodmorning”

with closed eyes our lips seek out their favorite meeting place

pressed tenderly, locked and exploratory

a soft 6 am breeze rustles the tangled sheets

and our toes exposed

bring awareness to our dreamland daze

his brown eyes flutter against the hour

and find mine warmly waiting

eyes

fingers

lips

meet gracefully

too long separated in nighttime wanderings

The morning sun always brings about realizations I would never stumble upon in the darkness of night.

I’ve come to notice that I have battled long and hard to obtain the confidence I have in myself these days – irregardless there are momentary lapses, as if I slip from a higher ridge into a crevasse I didn’t see from where I was standing. I slip back into the mindset that I am not worthy, that I am not loved, that everything I do is annoying or ‘crazy’. I have succumbed for years to the idea that I am the definition of a “crazy girl”. And I still find myself listening to those demons from time to time.

Last night was one of those times. I fell back and I fell hard. I was entirely alone. Though I have someone very loving in my life I began to feel unloved – and he, being relatively new to my mood swings, was unaware of the state I was in. This lack of understanding is natural, I didn’t explicitly state to him what I needed all the while desperately hoping he could feel my feelings through his cell phone. It’s completely irrational thought that I find myself swimming in. Thus last night I was the only one capable of saving myself from the crevasse I had fallen into.

For the first time in my life I managed (after some time) to talk myself back up to a rational level of thought, to the realization that I was just fine, that I was being irrational and what I needed more than anything was sleep – at some point to talk with my boyfriend about these emotional rollercoasters I sometimes undergo – and to wait until the sun came out to truly reflect on how I was feeling.

Walking in the sunlight this morning I was once again calm, understanding, standing back on the higher ridge of confidence I’ve been happily occupying lately. I am beginning to be aware of the mood swings I undergo at times for no apparent reason and have finally started to figure out how to handle them independently.

I also reflected this morning on sex and the effect it has on me. As much as I claim to loving sex, to having had sex with a decent number of men and enjoyed the experiences – the act still leaves me at times feel extremely vulnerable and empty – emotionally drained. I haven’t had sex in awhile until yesterday. It has been a few months since I’ve had just plain old sex – it has been many, many months since I’ve had sex with someone I legitimately love and care for.

Yesterday love and sex crossed paths and I found myself in the middle of so many emotions, by the end of the day I was exhausted of every emotion in the book and found myself broken down crying when he left my apartment. Thus I fell into the crevasse I mentioned earlier.

Sex is both wonderful and draining. Love is both wonderful and draining. I am terrified of the intensity of feelings I possess for this new relationship. I am terrified by how fast I fell and at the speed with which I continue to fall.

Here’s hoping I can continue to reflect regularly on the feelings I’m experiencing and understand which ones are honest and which ones are trying to break me down. Here’s hoping I can continue to build the foundation of this relationship and not destroy the simple perfection I’m only starting to experience.

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