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A Poetry Series - A Certain Kind

The love he gives me is the kind of love I hope everyone has the privilege of knowing at least once in their life. That kind of love— how he asks me to send him old photos from before I met him because “I want to see everything I missed.” A Sunday kind of love, the type Etta James curls her voice to—classic, soulful, the variety that was still in vogue when our grandparents were high schoolers sharing milkshakes under the flickering neon sign of the local diner. And even before that, when lovers were torn from each other’s arms by raging war. His love reveals itself in purple orchid petals collecting on my windowsill, surprise letters tucked inside white mailing envelopes, walking me home despite my protests, past midnight, every midnight, even in the dead of winter, because “I know I don’t have to. I want to.” I can’t get enough of that heart. It eclipses every other I’ve held close to mine. And though we can’t predict how long this new war will last, though there is no countdown until next time yet, when my body misses its perfect fit, he still whispers, over and over from the other end of the line that connects our voices, “It doesn’t matter how long it takes. I will meet you there. I will.” For now, I keep sending him the photos he asked for, traveling back in time to before us, all the while knowing I wouldn’t return to those memories if the world depended on it, that this life we now share, this cook-you-dinner, meet-my-family love, is the only one still worth choosing, framing, never blinking for even a split second in fear of what could be lost within that interval. I still don’t know how to tell him. He didn’t miss a single thing.

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