I am not going to sit here and pretend
I ever fought an urge to touch you
because my heart wears armour so thick
it refuses to reach for things it cannot hold.
My brain cannot extend
the moments we spent into anything more
than those moments. The first rule
of being a daisy pinned against someone
else's side is don't tease yourself.
Wanting more is papercuts between fingercrooks
and lemons and salt.
I will admit, however,
that my cerebellum guards those moments
with the help of my ribs,
like dogs and dragons;
adorns them with meaning, the way you
adorn your pretty skull with
the way you adorn your mouth with
raucous, lilting intention, the way that you
adorned my lips with your lips, that night at
McDonalds, which I still maintain is
the coolest thing that happened to anyone
at a McDonalds, ever.
The night I walked past the bathroom and found you hunched
over the porcelain in the dark, naked from the
waist up, small breasts sheened with sweat, shoulder
blades cutting the night like knives,
I have never seen something so vulnerable.
You make my teeth ache.
The night we stripped to our underwear and
did cartwheels on the golf course, and the
two things I remember you saying specifically
were, "I kind of want to get naked," and
"I'm so hungry."
At the beach, cowering on a towel, knees
locked under chin like a safe even you didn't
have the key to, pale pink bikini looking
miserable and beautiful and startling; a mermaid
too scared to move. I never saw anything prettier
than you. Your green eyes gut me like a fish.
"When I was little," you say, "I got teased
at school for having eyelashes that were too long,
so I cut them off with scissors."
I silently hate you.
I silently love you, but
I wander from my boyfriend's house with plans
to get drunk, the way he is. You pull up beside me,
in your little red car with the stickers on the
dashboard. Get in, you say. You are
barefoot, toes painted the colour of a peace sign,
tiny feet perched on the seat instead of the pedals.
You are wearing blue boxershorts and a t-shirt.
Your hair is abstract art.
"Sorry for being in my PJs," you lie.
"I was just driving a friend home."
You have this way of making me question
why I wasn't doing the same thing. I suddenly
feel ridiculous for wearing daytime clothes.
I am ashamed of my normalcy.
You will always be the queen of being unnatural,
We are covered in paint and grins and
beer. Stumbling and giggling into your
pretty apartment with white everything and
into your shower. You take the first blast
of hot water and your nakedness is suddenly
three dimensional; I have never seen anyone
look so real and here and now. Your body is shelved
with as many quirks as your being, and I am
captivated with the way you don't look,
the way your breasts don't fall, the angles
your body refuses to take, the corners it cuts, the
negative space incisioned between all the pieces
of your skin made home. Afterward, you hit sleep like a brick
and I lie in your bed, mind swirling with
every colour the water loosed from you.
Competition could not exist.
The only thing I had on you was
a crush. Though when people speak of crushes
it sounds more like a gentle squeeze,
like the time we were walking home from
the forest and you snuck your hand inside mine,
then laughed at me like it had been my idea
all along. It is called a crush because
she crushes every thought you thought you
kept soundly about the world. It is called a crush
because she can wreck every fear and every dream
with one word or a look. It is called a crush
because in her presence you are reduced to
tiny pieces that don't exist if they don't exist
to her, and are left examining the shards
scattered across the floor on which she walks.
It is called a crush because you never had even
the faintest of hopes or ghosts of a chance not
to be, and you've never been more okay and not,
at the same time.