A Thousand Ways


I didn’t know I could be satisfied
with my palm flat on the back of a boy
whose heartbeat was a whisper on my skin.

I didn’t know I could load a dishwasher,
mop a floor, change bedsheets
and have a sense of purpose.

I didn’t know I had said yes to this
until I had said yes to this.
It’s painful for us both,
but we persist.

I didn’t know I could be so diminished
just by seeing your blood there on the floor
instead of in your veins where it belongs.
There is some sacred thing we have agreed to,
and it depends upon us both being alive.

I didn’t know there were so many
ways to be in love, not all of them equal
but all as real as my tongue
against the roof of my mouth.

I didn’t know, I say out loud.
I didn’t know.