Afraid to Go Back There

I booked the nicest suite in the hotel by the beach. I lit the tea light candles around the room and made it into our oasis. I got caught in a rainstorm with you and had to run through it in sandals so we could crawl back under the covers and spend the night accompanied by the flicker of candlelight and your skin against mine. I studied the art murals. Okay, that’s a lie. I studied you while you studied the art. I watched as your face lit up on the boardwalk. I shared my ice cream and admired the smile on your face as you finished the cone. I traded in our ski ball tokens for matching candy bracelets. I braved the ocean to chase you to the ends of the earth. I smiled as we downed our third round of cocktails on the sand. I sipped frosé until I lost all inhibitions and turned into a sexual deviant. I watched as you admired each freckle on my sun-kissed skin, wishing you would reach down and press your lips to each one that swept over my chest. I laughed as you admired my curls from the salty air. I whispered I love you for the first time. And then I said it again. I giggled as you did a happy dance reading the dinner menu each night. I, poorly, resisted the urge to keep my hands off of you at the dinner table. I flashed my camera as you took your first bite, white wine draped between your fingertips. I captured the moment of you, peering into the sunset and taking a picture of the way it set over the lake with the American flag waving in the wind. I set the picture as my phone wallpaper. I interlaced your fingers in mine as we explored the town. I nibbled on hash browns after you took a picture with your first Dunkin’ donut. I giggled like a child when you whispered, “thank you,” each time I pressed a soft kiss to your forehead. I smiled for bathroom photo shoots. I felt the safety of your arms around me as you clung to me in the pool. I fell in love. Over and over again. Harder than ever. With no way of resurfacing for air.

Needy

The good morning texts,
the late-night messages to greet you when you wake.

Counting down the weeks,
the days, the hours.
Knowing your smile will greet me soon.

Needy lips against my own,
weeks of greed and love and longing behind each kiss.

The warmth of your body
reminding me I’m safe,
reminding me I’m home.

I’m needy.
Always needy for the comfort of you.

All My Thoughts

You’re my 4 am thoughts, alone in the silence of the night. You’re my 2 pm thoughts, a welcomed distraction in my work day when I’m aching to reach out and rest my hand on your thigh. You’re my 9 am thoughts, craving the warmth of you on all the cold lonely mornings. You’re my 8 pm thoughts, your head in my lap and my fingers through your hair. You’re my 11 pm thoughts, my fingertips aching for your skin to draw you impossibly closer.

Phantom

If I squeeze my eyes shut, I can pretend your body is right here beside me again. I can pretend your hand is inches from mine, waiting for me to take it. I can reach out and feel your warmth. But then I open my eyes. It’s cold. And I’m numb.

Which is Worse?

Jolting awake from the darkest of nightmares. Ones that petrify you and leave you with the taste of lead in your mouth. Or stirring from the warmth and goodness of a magical dream. One where you’ve come back to me. One where I can kiss you.

Either way, I can’t reach out and feel you. I can’t be settled. The unrest only lingers. And it all hurts just the same.

One More Night

Do you ever wonder why we had that extra night? Like it was gifted to us. I don’t always believe in higher powers or things happening for a reason, but it’s things like this that make me question it all.

My flight was cancelled, do you remember? The winds were too strong – planes couldn’t take off. They had to put all the travelers up in an airport hotel. An inconvenience to most travelers, sure. But for us? But now? All I can think about is how grateful I am to have had that one extra night indulging in you. As if some higher power knew what greater storm we were about to face, so it stirred up that wind storm and kept me close to you.

One extra night in the same time zone, where it wasn’t London and New York. Just you and me.

One extra night spent laughing with you between every kiss. One extra night with our bodies intertwined between the sheets. One extra night sharing dinner together, smiling and chatting without a care in the world. One extra night sleeping with my arms holding you tightly against me and refusing to let go. One extra night singing along to show tunes and giggling as we stumbled over the wrong words.

One extra night of love.
One extra night of warmth.
One extra night of us.
One extra night of all the things I miss most.

One extra night of all the things I didn’t appreciate enough until long after my flight touched back down.

Where I Find You

I still look for you in every book. In every lyric. In every line of poetry. In every episode of television. In each movie I watch for the hundredth time. I still look for you among a sea of strangers in a crowded room. In the emptiest of places. In every piece of artwork. I still look for you, even in my loneliest dreams.