OF COURSE

Last year at this very hour you took my clammy hand under a periwinkle sky and asked me a question I’d been waiting for. I said of course and took a mental photograph of you right there: tall and new and kind-eyed and finally mine. I’ve been taking them ever since. My mind’s eye is a photo album now. If I could free the pictures from their protective plastic sheets I could fill the walls of an entire room, ceilings included, and then maybe another, and another, and another. Maybe I’d fill a whole house—I’ve taken that many. I took one when you drove me down the backroads of your hometown the first time I ever visited. I tried to imagine you as a small child and then grieved over having missed out on those days. That I’d never get to see you wild, gap-toothed, muddy and freckled. I took some when I’d see your figure from across the field walking towards me when class would let out early, how you’d sweep me off my feet and kiss my forehead. I’d feel myself die a little in the best way. I’ve captured you in so many lights now. Midnight street lamp. Tangerine sunset through your kitchen window. Soft winter mornings, gold seeping through your hair. Neon signs illuminating your cheekbones. Strings of Christmas lights nailed to the branches of flowering trees. I’ve captured you in darkness, too, when we’d cry over things unknown. Even in a room with no lights on I still see you as if they were. Maybe that’s all love is:

it’s pitch black and we’re both blind and yet we still say of course.

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