I feel an ache. Sometimes the wound is small, new, a claw mark, a paper cut. Other times it feels a thousand years old, like a birthmark caving out a part of the inside of my chest. And I hear people talk about how they understand what those songs on the radio mean. And I ache. And I hear the delicate words of jotted pens and skin thin paper. It’s about love. And we “ooh” and “aw” and cry tears of joy and pretend. And I ache. I wonder if I just miss the people who see with eyes of silk. Who take what simply is and love. Or perhaps I am the encampment for a boy who thinks he’s been at war, when really, he has never left the front porch. They see me as they want to see me. And they call it love. And they push and pull and shape me like clay and think that that qualifies as a loving touch, That control and falsehood are just parts of what love is. And I hold his hand because I feel like I have to. And I have my first kiss, what I had so desperately wanted since I was 7 and 8 and 16, and I have it because I knew I’d feel guilty if I didn’t. And I ache. And I cry. And I hope that this all somehow makes me more loveable. I convinced myself that good things will happen to those who wait. But I guess they were any talking about him.
I ache. And I just “be myself.” And I ache. And I try, and I ache. And I hear the poems and songs and whiteboard quotes, and I just don’t believe. And I ache. I am labeled as independent, “I just don’t see you with someone,” and feel sin on my skin as I flirt, and curse myself for trying to somehow attach myself to a near-stranger’s soul as I laugh and smile and joke and comfort and scream and cry and play and jump and run and long for love and ache.