I Like Your Smile / by Rebecca Tillett

I always say I like it when you smile.
I like your smile.
Your laugh, I like that it gives me goose bumps.
And you laugh.
Sad songs remind me of you
And I smile.
Words like dark and nothing and pretend.
Like black, loss, death, and the end.
And it’s been raining so hard lately.
I fear you’ll be taken away by a river of
dirty water, concrete, grass and dirt.
Tossing, tumbling with bodies different
from your own touching and bumping,
rotating and swirling and you’ll all utter
niceties: “I’m sorry, oh, excuse me…”
Cars and bicycles, and stuff leftover from
the yard sale next door.
And I’ll absorb all the moisture regurgitated
by the plant-life in the front yard.
Like a sponge.
Heavy, dripping, and soon I’ll mold, spoil,
and smell – miserable and alone.
Daydreaming, imagining, fearing.
I always say I love your hands on me.
Touching me, my legs, my arms, my face.
Feeling the millions of tiny grooves in your fingertips
slide over every imperfection.
You make me feel warm and satisfied
I like pressing down on your veins with
my index fingers, like buttons
Releasing and expanding again
Always waking up late Sunday mornings
The sunshine through the windowpanes
warming our feet. Your hot breath on my neck
I wasn’t ready, light came too fast.
Never ready, waiting for the gun-blast.
There are parts of me like metal.
Machine, like you.
Sharp edges of our bones always 2 seconds
away from piercing through our flesh
Leaving us with scratches
too many too count, not like ceiling tiles.
“They’re nice decoration…” you’ll say.
I’ll laugh. And you laugh.
But I think we’re really screaming
and fighting and crying inside our heads.
because everything’s changing,
changing too fast.
And before we realize we’ve taken the shape
of something new
You know, growing accustomed to ourselves,
to each other,
we’re changing again.
I always say I like it when you smile.
I like your smile.
But it’s not enough to keep you afloat
when the rain comes,
when the change comes.