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you asked if i was in love
and my first reaction was “you first”
because vulnerability now feels like wallpaper to you
posted up with precision and torn down with carelessness
but “no no no no no no”
don’t take it wrongly
don’t take it like that
take it as if someone is trying to show you their home
so easily sputtering, “i’m so in love with every room….
…but don’t you see this too?” pointing to walls the seem to bend at the corners and curl in over time
dangerous edges that strangle at parts of me
the loving ones i renewed because people asked me to
now my sensitive brain is confused as to why you don’t want it too
but you are walls on walls on walls on walls
looking less like a home
and more like a maze that i tripped into
falling on pieces of your broken heart that never found a good enough excuse
but even when told the nearest exist
i didn’t want to leave
but i had to wonder if you knew all along
like a construction zone marked “danger”
you reached out a hand and i actually started to believe stability meant always being one step below you
sinking into cracking pavement that never yet dried
time slipping into hands that didn’t care
and “no no no no no no”
don’t take it wrongly
don’t take it like that
because i don’t get to say your feelings
but you also don’t get to say mine
and i wonder what kind of love you experience
if it never even reaches me, beating in your heart every time you say, “I don’t want to talk about it”
cutting me off like parts of yourself first found in her that no longer make sense
and now you’re lost
building walls so you at least have boundaries within to lie down, positive if you break them you too will crack
and maybe you can’t even see it
how your love bounces and retracts and i can’t blame you
because i don’t know how to be anything but an open book
that you keep closing
only rereading the last chapter where i said “i love you” first.

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