love: the prelude

I was too young to love you.

Truth is,

back then,

I didn’t really

know what love meant
so I said those words
over and over again
until they meant nothing,
like a politician’s apology.

Truth is,

my trunk had not grown enough rings
to protect us from my parents’ expectations.

My lungs could not yet exhale
the courage I needed to stand up when it mattered.

My arms had not yet firmly branched out to yours
and constantly broke at the slighted breeze.

My shoulderblades too selfish
to carry the weight of our dreams, and
my knees too weak to hold us together.

Worse yet, my mind did not yet know
how to turn leaves golden with experience,
and let go of those I no longer needed.

Those four little letters back then rang hollow,
and no matter how many I love yous I showered us with,
my womb could not yet bear enough fruit for two.

So I left you,
and dreamed in sepia
of children kissed by chocolate
and one-sided dimples,
until I finally figured out
what all those silly people meant when they said:
“you don’t know what you got til it’s gone”.

Funny that, ey?
It was only then that I learnt
how it felt to be hugged by you
to float between your breaths
and hear the sighs of your dreaming.

And now that I am back with you,
I dream in 3D and know that
my four letter word is
sandwich pressed
between multigrain slices of freshly baked bread,
and some days

I swap it with

Choose

Miss

Hug

Need

Want

Forgive

because they all mean the same thing anyway;
they all mean I love you.

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