You sit next to me on the lounge. I rest my head on your shoulder, listen as you tell me secrets from your past. I watch the expression glint across your facefear, nervousness, passion, pacify. Your intellect is spinning, worried that with every confession, every tale, ever sliver of memory you reveal, Ill pull away.
But what you dont understand is that youre merely bringing me closer.
The world is quiet. I can hear the wind floating lazily through the trees, a neighbor shuffling on his front patio putting out a cigarette, the toot of a faraway car switching lanes. I feel your heartbeat through your shirt, deep and in rhythm with mine. I absentmindedly twiddle your fingers between mine, feel the softness of your scalp, the callouses, the scars.
You speak to me and its like day stops .
Suddenly there is no space between us , no physical distance , no years that have passed so quickly I can hardly catch my breath. You confide in me as if Im someone important, as if the connection we have is to be treasured, and with every word that slips past your lips I start to believe a little more in us. In who we could be.
You look at me nervously and I can tell youre scared. Youre scared of the words I havent yet spoken, of the thinks rolling around in my intellect. Youre frightened Im thinking of all the way I could leave you, run like hell in the opposite direction as soon as you close your eyes. Youre scared Ive already plotted my escape, and that this entire period Ive been curled up, leaning on your shoulder, Ive been wishing to be anywhere else.
But not one of your doubts are real.
Because the more you speak the more closely tied to you I become. The more you reveal, the more I want to know. The more you let me in, the more I want to pull you closer. Until there is no space between us; until we are one.
You speak, and Im lost in your words, in your world. The style you look me in the eyes, the nervous style you play with your hands, the tensing of your shoulders as you tell me something I might not want to hearso innocent, so vulnerable.
Youre honest, maybe to a fault, but I hang onto every syllable. You let me discover who you are beyond the surface; you stimulate me believe, that yes, you are in this for real .
And without a doubt, I am too.
I close my eyes and listen. And as I lay next to you, I realise how much there is to love about you. The route you laugh and the act lights up your face. The way you do things for me without me asking, or without me even knowing I need them. The way you hold me, kiss me, induce me consider myself in a new, beautiful illuminate. The person you are. The route you live and fighting and care for who and whats around you.
But of all those things to been fucking loving you, I love your openness the most .
I love that youre not afraid to let me in, to talk to me, to be emotional and vulnerable and raw and real. I love that you put aside your doubts and trust me, that you give me a chance to love you, truly love you, even where it hurts.
I love that you talk to me, that you stay up and tell me tales about a past youve kept concealed for so long even though you know theres a chance it might push me away.
I love that you communicate. That you tell me what youre impression and how much you care. That you arent afraid to be forthcoming about your ache or dread. That youre able to pull me closer, even when its hard to fall for someone in a world thats so guarded.
I love your openness. How you are able to sit next to me on a couch, the world spinning around us, and speak the words on your heart.
I want you to know Im listening. I care. Im here.
And I value you, beyond measure.
Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book,, available here.
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