i have been meaning to tell you for years:
i think you’re beautiful. i have
seen nothing on earth that holds a candle
to the ocean you carry inside your body.
it spills over your edges sometimes, like
a rain shower around you, blurring your penciled-in
lines until there is nothing left of you but your natural
cliffs, valleys, and deserts.
i like that.
i have never met someone who is, somehow,
a sea and a storm at the same time.
maybe i never will again.
maybe you are the only one
who gathers clouds on her forehead
like a promise, or feels the push and pull of the tide
with her every step.
you are beautiful, honestly.
you are honest, beautifully.
it is in the way you talk, the way you hold ice
on your tongue but forget to use it—
you always forget to use it, i don’t think
you know how.
to be truthful, i’m afraid of your smile
and how it breaks over me, how it pulls
me like a whirlpool down, how it pushes me
like a current back to the surface. i’m afraid of your
siren’s voice and all the things i want to tell you
when you wear your grandmother’s pearls,
starting with but not limited to:
if you are rain, i am the forest.
please, stay with me. i want to grow.
i want to grow old with you.