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For the Boy Who Finally Gets a Poem Written About Him

I do not own this image

We’re on the phone.

Even as I know not to believe you,

your proclamations are flint

sparking up dormant desire. I want

to trust you. I really do.

You say that you can see us getting married


among other declarations.

For the duration of the call, I allow

myself to buy into it though I know

they’re just words. After all,

when are they not?


are what has kept us connected for all these years.

Why we always find our way back

to each other. Your words

become hands that undress me.

Sometimes quickly: those nights

when I don’t have the strength to fight them.

Other moments slowly: the times

when we’re in no particular rush. Free to lounge in the debates,

the word play, the carefully crafted assurances.

Your words know how to rub up

against the correct spots, causing an outpouring of my own.

They pull at my disbelief, worries, and frustrations

until I am exposed to you. But

never fully.

The gift is mutual.

Each word that fills my mouth is strategic

so that I know how to make you swell. To inflate

you until you’re ready to

burst–words falling out in a rush

as you make promises that are nothing

more than pretty words inserted

into all the right places, the empty spaces.

Because in this festival of flirting,

what we say and what we feel

come second to how it is said.

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