do you remember when we were children and the idea of love sat tenderly at the pits of our stomachs like butterflies, newly hatched from shiny green cocoons? the world was just so big and our hands were just so tiny then; we were equally enticed and frightened—there was impending pain in holding on so completely; deep black and blue littering the tender pink of blossoming palms, and fleshy scars following suit to map out cumbersome futures; futures heavily laden with pretty purple promises—enlightenment dripping from the ends of organic curlicues like slight afternoon rain. we were just children, wide eyes staring out at the world from behind curtains of soft brown hair. we were just sleepy, dreaming with thick eyelashes quivering in warm summertime breezes, momentary lapses from the stifling humidity that stuck to the ground and rose up all around us as we walked. every day, we walked. we latched onto the ends of optimism with black and blue palms, fleshy scars across our fallen knees, and we walked—every day, we walked—right into the next day, and the next, and the next, until our broken hands were healed and re-broken time and time again, until our scars had new scars across them, until our smiles were imprinted in mirror images and recognizable as individual. we walked right into adulthood and tenderness floated off our bodies in waves when we learned what it felt like to have our hearts broken, what it felt like to break hearts, what it felt like to leave and be left—tenderness floated off our bodies in waves when we woke up and the tender pink of our palms had almost obscurely subsided to black and blue patterns, dancing in front of old eyes dry with dust and dirt and it was no longer acceptable as it once had been. along the way, we were filled up, filled up with words and emotion and logic until it hurt our stomachs, until it hurt our hearts, and we were left to find someone else to share such a burden with. and then there was relation, walking side-by-side and sifting through old messes with a new set of broken, healed, and bruised palms beside yours. and all of it, everything, was validated—if even just for a moment.