My hand in your hand in your pocket.
You squeeze three times and without question or pause
My fingers press back in return:
– –––– ––– .
We don’t ask to see what it means.
We smile, we know.
We laugh and unpack suitcases in our new room,
Put pictures on the wall of our summer together.
I wear your soft green t-shirt and knit you a scarf.
You fold my clothes and staple my notes in order.
In these small ways, we are stitching our lives together.
Don’t use thread okay? It breaks too easy.
Grab me that string from the kitchen table.
We are kites holding each other’s strings,
Flying while keeping each other rooted.
You sweep me up so high I can brush my fingertips
On the rough ceiling we view from our bed.
It’s better than the night sky:
Only the two of us can see it.
I’m seeing you for the first time in weeks.
You’re still the most beautiful being I’ve ever loved.
We’ve gotten into the habit of talking in your car
Because I’ve cried in front of too many waitresses
And families at parks.
It’s been a year since I asked you to let loose the string.
To be honest I can’t tell if I’m flying or falling.
I tell you I’m trying my best to untangle it all,
To follow the frayed tail back to myself…
I just don’t know if you’re at the other end of it too.
I tell you what I can’t tell anyone else.
That I question myself every day and can’t always answer.
That I’m trying, but I’m so tired.
So, so tired.
You place your hand on my hand in my lap.
You don’t squeeze.
I think you’ll have married
A sweet, stable second girl.
I think I’ll have loved
And been loved
But not by the same man at the same time.
Maybe we’ll outlive all of these people.
Maybe your finger will catch on a kite string one day
And you’ll find me at the other end of it.
Maybe we’ll tell each other everything that happened
In all the months that we missed.
Or maybe we’ll be too tired,
And you’ll just hold my hand.
Maybe you’ll squeeze.