My fourth lover has left the country. She has been traveling since I first handed her my weakest muscle over a decade ago and now I think she is getting closer to settling. The last time I traveled with passport and backpack, I was just getting over the Canadian. I was on a hunt for language that didn’t hurt when I spoke it. I wrote poems beside canals with the haunt of red lights in the nearby distance. I almost got arrested for possession for hash that time, but it wasn’t mine, nor did it taste my lips; we were just exchanging words for stanzas.
You are traveling over pages and memories. I want to know what it was like to see his tattoos and smell his distance. Do lovers change shape once they no longer belong to us. Or do they always belong to us?
My seventh lover (not counting the ones that didn’t count) was difficult to get over. I ingested medicine cabinets and poetry books, slapped starvation on my tongue and called my collarbone a rail for many months until I no longer needed to think about the disturbance of breaths and bruises.
We mourn and mourn until suddenly we can longer remember what it felt like to hurt. Are you there yet. I am there.
I recently met a human who reminded me that there is no one way to approach someone.
And I wanted to retort: there is no one way to love. Each time is different because we all arrive with varying marks and allergies and desires.
Rebel, we love differently because we are poets. Our kind of loving simmers and boils simultaneously. Our kind of kisses pass through megaphones.
It never gets easier, but it can make more sense. Some love spends months or years trapped in a lost dialect that neither lover speak. I am finding that when you meet someone who has studied the rules and historical lineage of phonics, you can stop. That is the right one.