This Is How I’ll Love You, And This Is How I’ll Leave You

You’ll ask me what I see when I look at you, I’ll tell you it’s always fireflies and Aurora Borealis skies. Always the red in the apple that tempted Eve. That it’s always neon radiance. It’s always colors that before your voice I had not known.

I’ll look at you like the world didn’t look this way before I met you, all dripping in gold and bathed in roseate glow.

I’ll hold your heart in my hands cupped, ever so gently. Keep it close to my chest like the blood was my own. Like taking care of you was the sole reason stars had to die to give life to this body of mine.

I’ll carve out a whole chamber from my heart, and in that space build you a home. I will give you a place in which you can feel like you always belong.

Believe me when I tell you that your hands will never be empty of anything. I’ll give you more love than you know what to do with. Everything inside me will be for you too.

For you, I will spill myself and overflow, put new rivers on maps, give a name to a new ocean.

The word loneliness will become extinct from your vocabulary. I’ll break my back making all you carry feel weightless, on days that everything is just a little too heavy. I will carry the boulder between my two shoulders if you let me.

I will give you quiet when you need me to. Put my hand in yours when the last thing you need is solitude. I will learn to tell the difference between the two.

I will work overtime to help you slay your ghosts. I will help you nail each grave marker into the ground.

These hands want to caress the face of your every demon. I’ll strip down to nothing but lace, let you tear it off of me, and make love to them. On nights hail can’t seem to stop falling from the sky, I will show you that no amount of darkness or ugly, could diminish what I feel for you. I will crack open my chest and pull apart each rib to introduce you to my own.

You can confess your every crime, your every sin, to me. You can tell me what blood has ever stained your hands, and still I’ll hold them, still I’ll kiss them.

I’ll love you like it has always been you. Like it was you before I ever even saw your face. Like I’ve been carving our initials in the trunks of magnolia trees since I learned one plus one was two, and two plus one was three.

I will immortalize you with my words, paint you in ways no muse has been in history. I will trace verses of poetry on your back from rib to rib each night before you fall asleep.

When I write, it’ll be like I long since buried any metaphor that came before you.

I will touch you like I never knew holy until I came into contact with your skin. I will touch you like we were meant to commit sacrilege. Like we’re two wildfires that can’t be put out. Like the world could be ending and I couldn’t stop.

I will treat you like your atoms and mine trace back to the same supernova. Like you’ve always been, and infinitely will remain a part of me.

I will love you.

I will love you until you give me reason not to. And when I leave, I will leave you like I never loved you.

I will leave you when I realize the worst thing you could have ever done was against my heart. When the worst crime you commit becomes one against this love. That’s the one blood I could not see on your hands and still touch.

I will not seek closure. The way you surprised me with the knife will be closure enough.

I’ll leave you the way one exits a crumbling building. Loudly and not fast enough. Yet, I will leave you the way a snake sheds its skin, slowly and quietly. I will be somebody differently entirely. You won’t recognize me. It’ll be like you never touched me.

I will leave behind a silence so deafening you’ll come to miss the sound of a heart that once beat for you. A heart who has now nailed an eviction notice on the front door.

Nights will feel threatening, heavy, and a little bit haunted by my memory. You’ll hear the saddest of ballads always playing in the background. You’ll miss me and the way I could bring to life the sweetest of melodies.

You will dream about me twice, three, four times a week, wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep.

When I leave, I will not only take the key with me, I will take every copy, throw them in flames and scatter the ashes.

You’ll start to miss a place you cannot run back to. You will think of a home you lost the directions to get to.

When I leave, I leave for good.

I will leave like I was never even here, and on my way out I will bulldoze every magnolia tree. I will forget every letter that makes up your name.

You will look up at the sky, see the moon, but still feel like it disappeared with me. Her light will paint your body in light as devoid of the color I left your life in. You will not be able to read a single piece of poetry or literature, hear a song, without feeling like it can hurt forever.

Nothing will ever look the same. Because when I leave, I don’t come back.

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