sensual

sometimes when you look at me, I think I can tell
what you are thinking
not like
how did I get stuck with this ridiculous person
but more
I like you so ridiculously much, how is this even real
and you have this thing where you give me serious eyes
and say baby
love is sensual, not sexual
(because sometimes when you're drunk you are a total
fucking hipster
and forget that you're a physicist)
and I think: yes. yes, okay then,

sensual
because I'm all about late nights with hot caffeine
and blankets thrown over us
while your hand cards through my hair
and the needwanthave is
more about intimacy than, you know
intimacy

and this is how I know it's all real. okay, the

toothpaste and a caramel macchiato and-
and salt water, maybe, a tear once or twice,
or a bead of sweat cooling in the night
against your warm skin-
and some nights, the tell-tale tartness of beer
and cigarettes
and some mornings, the memory of soap
as my tongue maps over your
shoulderblade.

and
your mother's famous casserole cooking, and
popcorn and cotton candy.
the first time we did laundry
and our clothes shared the same detergent
and I put on my favourite dress and it was like, okay,
holy crap, domestic
and, oh, roses? do you remember that?
that awful, stupid time: the days
they sat there on my mantle-piece
(because roses, really? Really, Gabe?)
and they rotted and died-
but we didn't.
then there's – my favourite, although I protest- there's
the fresh morning air on Sundays
when we roll out of bed together
(leaving
my perfume on your pillow).

there's the green of your eyes- nothing special,
the same as your sisters', the same as your dad's,
and there's those awful shirts you wear- even worse, that you're proud
that you think they're like, somehow ironic?
there the sight of you, Sunday evenings,
chewing your pencil, biting your thumb
and the red of your lips with my lipstick on them
like I've branded you
- maybe I have.
little things catch my eye, like your movement,
flailing limbs, tangles of awkward,
because
you can't be still for five goddamn minutes
(sometimes, I kick you out of bed).

There's how you say my name, of course,
and the way you can never be quiet-
you laugh in delight when you touch me, you know,
and your sighs are annoyingly breathy,
but God,
sometimes, when I get home from seeing you,
I find that I struggle with silence
and I pace around suffocating in it
- and there's such a clear absence of you.
and I used to be used to my own tacit presence
but now I don't know what to do with it-
like you were made to fill up all my silence
with your chatter and shouts and serenades;
so you clatter around the kitchen
or you sing so off-key in the shower
or you tap your foot in impatience
and,
I wonder why, but I like it.

probably my favourite, Gabe
because no, I don't count kisses
is the
brush of your thumb on my lower lip
- yes, like that -
delicious friction
-Christ-
of that drag and pull, and carefulness,
in the scrape of your nail
on my mouth. then-
your hand, closed around my wrist at your father's
oh, you're an artist, are you?
and the stubble burn that marks me
from my collar
to my ankles,
or the mundane brush of your elbow
or the callouses on your fingers.
mostly I like that I'm yours to touch, like
I learned a new way to belong.

and sometimes when I look at you, really
I hope you don't know what I'm thinking
because
we are so intimately entwined, here,
that I've forgotten how to be separate.
hours after you've gone: and I can still taste red wine
and kisses;
and I can still see your scarf and your overcoat
on the back of the kitchen chair;
and my whole world smells like laundry powder,
and coffee;
and I have the Lord of the Rings soundtrack on my iPod, for God's sake
and you are always, always touching me..
and I'm thinking that I can't believe it, sometimes,
that I get to have this,
that it's true.

And Gabe, this is the scariest thing, okay?
This is the stupidest thing.
That I come home and I write this down because
I have no idea what I'm doing. And Gabe,
I don't have words like you do
and I don't have a past, like you do,
and I need to make lists like
this one of
the details I can't be dreaming,
because I am this ridiculous person,
and? well, this morning,
you said that you love me.