What I Should Have Told You
Where I am from,
we do not say I love you
as a phone phrase meaning See you later.
We do not toss it around like a baseball
or cover it with fingerprints.
This is how we say it
when we are brave enough.
Ich hab dich lieb
means I hold out love
like a plum cake,
like a gift with satin ribbons,
hold it close like a teddy bear at night.
Ich bin verliebt
means I am lost in love
like a girl in her own reflection,
tangled in it like a comb in curly hair,
wrapped in it like a cloud of fresh perfume.
Ich liebe dich
means I am running in the rain,
my sneakers soaked, to see you.
It means I wake up with damp sheets
and your smile scorching my eyes.
It means I am an open book
whose pages you can tear out if you want to.
It means I locked you in my heart
and threw away the key.
I had all three to give you