You know I don’t tell you “I love you” enough. Instead, I’ve terrified you of mirrors and compliments.
I’ve covered you up, done you up, and shut you up until you believed that you weren’t quite you without a mask.
I’ve lied to you
And I’ve listened more to the words of others
Before I took a good long look at you
And decided to love all of you.
I should’ve been the one reminding you that who you are is ok.
Instead I was your main assailant.
I was the one who most terrified you.
I was your worst enemy.
I should’ve treated you more
Valued you more
And said way more than I ever did.
And here’s why.
I cannot speak without you.
I need the mountains and valleys of your mouth
to form the sentences that I’ve never been equipped to convey.
I need your laugh, your cry, your scream.
I need you to say
“It will all be alright.”
I cannot walk without you.
I need your strong legs to carry me through the day
To take us to places we’ve never been
And venture into the great unknown
I need your steps so I can look back and shout
“Look at how far we’ve come!”
I cannot see without you
You help me to perceive and re-perceive
Oh, how many times I get it wrong
And I ask you again, just one more look
The sunsets would be colorless
The stars would lack their shine
I wouldn’t know the face of beauty
I cannot hear without you
Though I’ve covered you up time and time again,
I’m unstuffing these ears of yours
So that if you get the chance,
You can hear about the good things in this broken world
And maybe begin to heal
Without you, I cannot listen and cannot begin to understand.
I cannot reach without you
And oh, I love your arms
You never ceased to reach for those who needed you
Even when I tried to dissuade.
You pull the broken close
And hold up the sky
For those whose dreams simply must carry on below.
I can’t breathe without you.
I love the way you toss your hair.
When your eyelashes bat, the world swoons.
Your smile is my smile.
Your laugh is my laugh.
Your sob is mine too,
And my heart belongs to you.
And I love your heart.
It’s just so brave.
The reason we’ve made it this far
Is because it is so courageous.
It has braved my insults.
It has loved in spite of pain.
Though it has staggered under the weight of this world
It has never quite fallen.
It’s like a wave
Its compassion doesn’t relent
No matter who and what and how and how many
Try to dry its waters
The tide of you comes in
Just when we need it most
And you love, oh how you love.
I’m so sorry
I’ll probably never stop saying it
I must’ve prided myself in my intelligence so much
That I thought you away.
I am learning to be content
With your exactness–
Your exact perfection and imperfection.
You never failed me
You never quite gave up.
So thank you for carrying on,
When I was determined to beat you down.
I am sorry, my dear.
I am so, so sorry.
I love you, and I can’t do this life without you.