When I say
“I love you”
What I mean is:
“I’ve considered what life would be like without you –
And I don’t like it.”

I mean
“I’ve read your horoscope.”

I mean
“Your dimples are the most endearing things
I have ever seen,
And I would gladly drown in them
Just to kiss your cheek.”

And I put cinnamon in the tea
Because you were only kind of joking when you said
You’ve considered carrying cinnamon in your purse
So you’ll never be without it.

I used to work in this fake-bougie Italian place
Where old white people would come just to be seen,
Where I had a reputation for being a complete disaster –
And as the only one
Who could whisper just right
To the cappuccino machine.
When the new servers were in the weeds
They’d ask me to make their drinks,
And when the milk transformed
Into a delicate and stubborn foam,
I’d lay it down atop espresso
Gently, like a prayer
And tuck it in
With cinnamon.

Those weeds the new servers were in
Tried to take me too.
I stopped praying entirely,
Stopped whispering to Godde and the cappuccino machine
Content to be tucked into a grave of disbelief –

But the Universe had other plans for me.

My reputation transformed,
No longer one of disaster,
But of a delicate and stubborn lover
Who survived the weeds.

Who survived to love a child
In a polka dotted dress.

Who survived
To love long-dead poets
And violets
And stops sometimes just to hear the birds sing,

Began surviving
When Godde whispered to me,
Praying to me gently,
Tucking me in with hope
As I lay in my grave of disbelief,
And kissed my cheek –
Drowning me
In the love that saved me from the weeds.

So, when I say “I love you”
What I really mean
I see the Godde in you
And the Godde in me.

And the Godde in me
Put cinnamon in my purse
So that you’ll never be without it
And I hope to never be without you –
Because I’ve considered what that life would be,
And I don’t like it.

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