i didn't want to say it out loud. knew if i did, that would be it. a barrier, a wall. the mandate of time.  it would place time between us. years, probably.

i had to figure out how to be happy all by myself.

when we kissed i pulled away and put my open palm against his heart. i want you to be good, i said. he looked at me, misunderstanding. whole. i want you to be whole. and good.

i've never been good with words around him. or terribly honest.

selfishly i couldn't bear the thought of being the person who
you asked me about happiness. whether it was something i had figured out on my own. or in the company of another.  but not saying it, not uttering the words wouldn't make the need for that any less real.

i see you sometimes in other people. i look to my left and a man is laughing, throwing his head back ever so slightly as you do and for a moment you're there. and i want to go right up and kiss you. but then my eyes adjust and i'm pulled back and i see it's someone else. i wonder if this love for you will ever dissipate.