I keep seeing you in the store. On the bus. When I fall asleep. You are haunting me without ever leaving my life. I keep trying to fit you, to wedge you right into this irregular space left in my heart, right next to him and him and her and that magnificent noise. God, the heart may be only a bloodied means to an end and our brains are what tick-tick-pound, but if you want to know what really is a barometer for love, it is the lungs. What do we say? I gasped. My breath caught. My chest ached.

That our heart rests so nearby may be where the confusion lies.

I want to inhale your loneliness so that it may cancel out my own, for all that we need is the air between you and me, and all that we need are the things we don't need, but oh, oh why don't you lay here with me?

You haunt me. Yet I cannot drive you out of this crowded atmosphere. I will not. My darling, I will let all my organs give up a tiny piece of themselves so that I may continue to be haunted. I crave our complication, but I wish it was easier. My skin would like to pay tribute, would like to do the inhaling and absorbing, the heat-heat-pounding. Let it. And in the darkness when you shudder and sigh, shudder and sigh, breathe out those words.

Stay close. Succumb. Let us pretend that the heart is responsible. Let us make our magnificent noise. Let us promise to hold onto this moment, to carry it in that irregular space so that it may bed. So that we may be whole.

the love letter collection
submitted 12:55 PM EST
Monday, January 7, 2012