I love you. You must know I do, with all my heart.
But I am more in love with the idea of you. Of us.
Last night, you held me close and in those moments I spent in your arms, listening to your heartbeat, I was enveloped in a feeling of safety. In that safety, I found myself smiling at how fast your heart raced, slamming with urgency against your ribcage. You were bursting with love.
I knew that it was that very love that would keep you bound to me for as long as I wanted to be tethered to you.
Do not be mistaken. Those moments were precious, but what was more precious was the image of us, sitting tangled into each other, that I had formed in my mind for I knew that your presence would be gone before the image faded.
And so, love, I left my eyes shut.
Last week, I asked you to spend the night with your friends. I missed you every minute you were absent, my body ached, yearning for your warmth.
But we had spent all our spare waking hours together that week and I needed to be independent of you; I wanted for you to create memories beyond me for I could not afford the guilt of having tarnished your memory of every moment after having met me, with my constant, uninterrupted presence.
I had rather you remember me as the subtle, evasive love that nurtured you and made you grow than that which you lost yourself in, due to relentless unity.
To do so, I had rather spent those moments with you in my mind than in your pleasurable company.
The night before last, you read my letter and tears of sentiment escaped your eyes.
I must have you know, love, that my words are more passionate than my thoughts and emotions; it is the blessed curse of a poet. Writing for you is easiest and only satisfactory when I do so with fervor that involves speaking in degrees beyond reality.
In those moments of your vulnerability it took all in my power for me to not run to your side and hold you, I wanted to cherish merely the image of your red nose and tear stained cheeks, without the added burden of the warmth of your body.
You were convinced of my extreme emotions that, you assumed, drowned me in a wave of adoring love and tender passion but- while my emotions are honest and pure- I am afloat in the safety of my feelings.
My heart races when you lace you fingers through mine, I forget the ability of speech as my throat knots with emotion. I feel secure and stable when I hold your hand in mine, gently, for it is precious.
But it could be anyone’s hand I hold. The familiarity of its texture and shape holds more value than the fact that it belongs to you.
I roll it between my palms and trace it with my fingertips- as I do so, I know that one day you will not be beside me and my hands shall be empty, but that knowledge does not pain me. It only makes me want to memorize the beautiful curves of your fingers and the strength of your large hand as it wraps around mine- comparatively petite- gripping it firmly, yet so tenderly.
I could spend hours hearing you talk, listening to the smile in your voice when you speak of the arts and the anguish that seeps into it when asked about your family.
I want to know you and about all there is to you. I want to uncover every crevice of your mind and explore its passages, reading you like a book I have frequently reread. But I shall only do so to highlight what appeals to me most, in order to engrave it into my memory so I can revisit you as I please, and even with your absence you shall never have left my life. I will always retain you in my thoughts, where I will love you most.
The moments of tranquility I spend in your silent company, in my mind, are unfortunately more intimate than those spent hand in hand, side by side- for these moments, these memories warm my heart and heal my soul, preparing me for battle.
I love watching you, observing and absorbing your every movement; I love clinging onto your every word with respect and fear for its scarcity.
But I love the effect your presence has on me even more.
It scares me, how I love you.
It terrifies me, how I am in love with my ideals of you.