In your bohemian whirlwind you whisked my heart into a batter for baking love-shaped pancakes with all the chocolate chips the stores could muster.
I melt like butter in your words, in your voice like sin to a saint, like dirt under your fingernails, like the last bite of the last meal, like the time on the clock when you realize you didn't want to go after all.
I don't know what to do when I can't cry about it, when I'm not sad, but when I'm feeling a lot of feeling, and when that feeling makes me get to thinking that what I'm feeling might not be all that unnatural. But it's not pain and it's not the other one, and it's somewhere in between where I get the feeling tears should be. And couldn't you just escape? Couldn't we all just escape for a little while?
I sometimes wish life was nothing more than a black-and-white photograph that I could shine in for a long long time. But weren't you the one that told me things weren't supposed to be easy? That I can be tough if I tell myself to be? Well what if all any of us ever needed was just a piece of cotton stretched across a young man's chest to bury our foreheads in and curse the world, remembering a time when it was better but being simultaneously so happy those times are gone.
I can't give what she gives. I can't let you be gone all the time, I can't make the sacrifices for that kind of love, the kind that leaves you alone when you're halfway across the world fighting a war that can't be won, leaving me to fight the same kind of fight, without fighting words or weapons or even an understanding of what we're fighting for. We've gone down the line, and I've heard your whistle, and I've seen your eyes, but we doubted each other and tuned all of it out together.
But maybe if I keep writing the tears will come. It's not sadness, it's something else entirely. It's knowing that I could be there when you needed it, that I could be the pillow where your head needs to be, that I could be the elbow grease to wash your dirty dish, that I could be on the other tin can at the end of the line wishing for the same things you are. And the words "we will see" become harder and harder to swallow, like strep throat in the middle of summer. The seeing only takes a million years, the we only a million and one.
I know I was sloppy, that I didn't throw the same cards on the table, that I wasn't even playing with the same deck. But you were always holding my hearts. And maybe that's not even true, but then why is it so hard to hear you now and know that I can't see you. That the military took you away and stuck you near the ocean where I couldn't get to you if I tried.
At least you can tell me you love me. At least I still can believe it when you say it. But this track in my head just won't stop.
I can't beat the other offers. But I can offer something different. I can give you what you want, when you want it. And when you don't want it we can want something else for awhile. But you'll want it again. Like you always do.
I do love you, against all recommendations to the contrary, and being a friend is sometimes all you can do when you want to do something different.
My heart's bleeding for you tonight, darlin'. Don't know why, don't know where it came from. But it's here, and so am I.