all of how you are allows all of how I am room to exist.

Words can be coordinates.

Just like maps. Not the maps that can be swiped at or enlarged on electronic screens. Maps on walls. Maps coiled and alphabetized by their place on earth. Rand McNally pages.

Words are like the keys that jangle against hipbones, held together against belt loop by mountain climbing key chain.

Words are mailboxes with secrets stuffed inside.

Words are proposals far flashier than jewelry.

And love is what curls all these letters. All these sounds. All these statements.

*

It seems so simple to sing that “you met me when I needed to be met” but timing is real. Timing is an alarm of awareness or readiness.

*

How difficult to exist in a world that constantly mispronounces your name. Calls you Ma’am when you are closer to Sir. Cannot seem to understand that gender restrictions are like allergic reactions on skin.

How marvelous to be seen as who I am each day. (Because it changes).

To be asked: How would you like to be seen today. Or: What would you like to be called. And: How do you prefer to be touched today?

*

Not all love is a welcome mat. Not all humans encourage you inside. Then you find someone who lifts weights with their heart in order to offer up you a muscle that has meaning when it flexes. You meet someone who asks all about your past tense, exhales and says ok………

*

There is someone out there who will measure, mix and make you pancakes in the nude on a workday just because of the way it makes your mouth feel when you eat them.

*

Words can be answers to the questions you never even spoke out loud. Breathe in these units of sound. This is where it all begins.

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