the boy whose smile makes your lungs constrict
asked you when it was okay to tell you that he loved you
pausing ever so slightly between each word
his voice was muffled; he was not looking at you,
the curve of his lips buried in a blue pillow

here are the things you tell him:
that his unruly hair makes you laugh
his insistence on calling you
to tell you goodnight and goodmorning
makes your stomach ache like
that one time you ate too much
raw cookie dough when your father’s back was turned

here is what you don’t tell him:
that when he smiles at you it makes you feel
like that time you tried to squeeze into your mother’s
size 2 satin wedding dress.
that when he talks so carelessly about love and your future
together as if it were inscribed in stone beneath an irish castle
it causes every cell in your blood to shiver
and goosebumps to emerge on your flesh

you do not tell him that when he reads to you
with his voice of milk and honey,
that you drink in each feature of
his expression, each vibrato of his words because
you’ve never seen anything quite as eloquent

When he asks you when it is okay
to tell you that he loves you,
you say you have honestly no idea.
You don’t tell him that the weight of his words
hold the pressure of a baby grand piano,
and you’ve looked up just in time
to see it hurtling towards you

ochredeity, “Darling” (via wnq-writers)
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