Hiding under a patchwork quilt, pretending I’m invisible (and maybe you are too), you take my face into your hands and see that I’m crying (silently as to not alarm you). None of it makes sense, but I beg you to find me beautiful nonetheless. You kiss my oversized nose, my sharp chin. You kiss my thick eyebrows, the tears that fall from my red-rimmed eyes, your lips graze my chubby cheeks. You’re my imaginary friend and I’ve sworn to you I’ll stop pretending. You tell me over & over, “You’re pretty, you’re pretty, you’re pretty.” It’s like a prayer, and I think, for a moment, if you say it enough, I’ll believe.
And I think, for a moment, if you say it enough, I’ll actually transform and be pretty.
Grasp my hand, my fragile hand, as we watch the world collapse around us. This is the beauty of the end. Explosions like the beginning of universes & the start of time, but you hold my hand like it belongs to you. Suddenly, I’m not so scared anymore, even though it feels like only minutes passed since you told me the taste of metal and gunpowder residue was more familiar than the musk of my perfume. I’d apologize, but it is you who warned me that I met you at a very strange time in your life. I’d ask for forgiveness, but I’m not so sure you can remember (because you’ve told me how often you forget).
There’s a fracture in who I see and who you are, but in that split – that shattered part – is something rare & beautiful.
I have heard many love stories where the strife is superficial, where the weapon grazes but does not pierce. But is it love if you do not face those trials & tests? Is it love if it comes easily? I have watched the collapse of civilizations, the destruction of cities, & the razing of skyscrapers. But why is it that every end shows me how beautiful the beginning was? If love is a game, does that mean we must compete until one of us inevitably loses?
I don’t want to lose because breathing those years without you was a concept disastrous in execution.