08: October 2015 #11 - Love Story

Authored by Heather Stai

Love Story

by Heather Stai

                “I first dipped my tongue
                into the wet salty cave of the beloved’s mouth,
                the fury with which I took the others flesh inside me,
                the hard pits of the first fruit
                I chewed and sucked.”
                -- “Roots”, Dorianne Laux
We make love with our eyes open.
We’re lit in cigarette embers and candlewicks.
You tell me you woke up the day before and looked at me
and thought I was so pretty, and you couldn’t understand
what I saw in you.
I see everything in you.
The freckles on your shoulders,
the birthmark on your right eyelid,
your guitar-callused hand in mine.
Promise me that you’ll forgive
whatever I may do to you.
Promise me that you’ll always understand
the bravest thing I ever did
was become yours.
I wept in your bed on New Year’s Eve
as you slept beside me.
You don’t seem to care
if I stay or if I go. You are starting to feel
more like a habit than a lover.
I cried for three hours on that bed,
pillows of damp towels and wrinkled dress shirts below me.
You awoke to the sound of fireworks at 11:57 pm.
The snow fell quiet on your window ledge.
You kissed me, morning breath and marijuana lips,
you told me you loved me. Like clockwork.
I said “I love you, too”; because, unfortunately, I do, and then
sometime in January, when being in love with you was as tedious as taking out the garbage, and feeding my cat;
sometime in January, I realize
I haven’t slept in days.
An unbearable weight has been living inside of my chest at night. I was sure
that is was the pressure of your heart
trying to rip itself free.
You got drunk so fast last night
on cheap beer. You looked so handsome
in your work clothes. I breathed in the sight of you like bleach.
We sat in my car when it started to rain
and I asked you to kiss me, because it hurt too much
to have nearly forgotten what you taste like.
You kissed me at my window
while the dirt turned to mud
at your feet.
You crawled beside me in your sleep
and you held me to your chest.
I wrung those hours dry,
counting the freckles on your throat.
Remembering the plump skin of your lips.
I memorized every part of you
I will never get to touch again.
We awoke to the husky dawn and you untangled yourself from me,
from the us that we had been
and we dusted off our hangovers
and pretended to be friends again.