the way I love

I think a lot about what would have happened if I had met you when I was a girl who really knew how to love.

The girl I was loved brightly but in fits and starts like a flickering lamp still learning how to cast a light.

Her love tread lightly, apologized more than a woman sharing at an opinion at an all male meeting.

That girl was still learning how the word felt in her mouth,

pressing her tongue hard against her teeth,

letting the last sound out with a breathy sigh, a bite of her lip

love.

She practiced saying it in the mirror until it felt real.

That girl I was didn’t know how to love.

 

Now I have some of the shine rubbed off,

the gleam of unadulterated naivete,

well,

adulterated.

And my love isn’t the kind of lamp you have to whack a few times to really get it going,

it is the goddamn sun.

It’s the solar eclipse.

Stare at it too long and I can’t promise you’ll ever see anything again.

 

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