“Someone once told me a story about long term relationships. To think of them as a continent to explore. I could spend a lifetime backpacking through Africa, and I would still never know all there is to know about that continent. To stay the course, to stay intentional, to stay curious and connected – that’s the heart of it. But it’s so easy to lose track of the trail, to get tired, to want to give up, or to want a new adventure. It can be so easy to lose sight of the goodness and mystery within the person sitting right in front of you.”—Joy Williams (via thatkindofwoman)
1. When a boy who leaves goosebumps on every inch of your skin tries to play you his favorite song, don’t let him. He’ll get it stuck in your head and under your fingertips and when he leaves, you won’t be able to listen to it without feeling like you’re choking.
2. Don’t let him touch you all over no matter how much you want to feel him against you. Leave a few spots untouched so that when you’re sleeping alone again, at least your left wrist and an inch of your right hip won’t sting with the remaining burn of his mouth.
3. Don’t let him break your ribs.
4. Don’t watch the sunset with him. He’ll poison it. You won’t be able to look at the sky without swallowing a mouthful of him.
5. Don’t mistake wasps for butterflies. Sometimes when you feel your stomach flutter and your hands start to shake it’s pain, not love.
6. Just because he tells you he loves you doesn’t mean he’s going to stay.
7. It’s okay to delete his number after he kisses the pretty girl he met when he was drunk. It’s okay to leave when he hurts you. You don’t have to keep falling into him.
8. When he tells you that you’re beautiful, try to remember that you were beautiful before him too.
9. Just because he reads and smokes cigarettes and talks about the stars doesn’t mean he’s your soulmate.
10. After you kiss him, remember to wash your mouth out right away so he doesn’t burn into your tongue.
11. He’ll kiss you in the rain and take you to little coffee shops. He’ll brush your hair out of your eyes and kiss your nose. He’ll grab your waist and whisper in your ear but six months later you’ll find yourself drunk texting him that you miss him and he won’t respond.
12. Your heart is going to break a million times. It’s going to feel like the world is falling apart around you. Your lungs will stop working some nights. You find yourself grabbing at your bones trying to hold yourself together. You’re going to feel like you’re dying. It’s going to be okay. You’ll find someone else to kiss you goodnight.
I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid
of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.