and at once i knew i was not magnificent
paranoid android
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She was the kind of girlfriend God gives you young, so you’ll know loss the rest of your life.

— Junot Díaz

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Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.

— Hafiz

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But I have seen the best of you and the worst of you, and I choose both.

— Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye, “An Origin Story”

23:33
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Everyday I rewrite her name across my ribcage
so that those who wish to break my heart
will know who to answer to later
She has no idea that I’ve taught my tongue to make pennies,
and every time our mouths are to meet
I will slip coins to the back of her throat and make wishes


I wish
that someday
my head on her belly might be like home
like doubt to doubt resuscitation
because time is supposed to mean more than skin
She doesn’t know that I have taught my arms to close around her clocks
so they can withstand the fallout from her Autumn

She is so explosive,
volcanoes watch her and learn
terrorists want to strap her to their chests
because she is a cause worth dying for
Maybe someday
time will teach me to pick up her pieces
put her back together
and remind her to click her heels
but she doesn’t need a wizard to tell her that I was here all along

Lady
let us catch the next tornado home
let us plant cantaloupe trees in our backyard
then maybe together we will realize that we don’t like cantaloupe
and they don’t grow on trees
we can laugh about it
then we can plant things we’ve never heard of

I’ve never heard of a woman
who can make flawed look so beautiful
the way you do

The word smitten is to how I feel about you
what a kiss is to romance
so maybe my lips to yours could be the penance to this confession
because I am the only one preaching your defunct religion
sitting alone at your altar, praising you out of faith

I cannot do this hard-knock life alone
You are all the softness a rock dreams of being
the mistakes the rain makes at picnics
when Mother Nature bears witness in much better places

So yes
I will gladly take on your ocean
just to swim beneath you
so I can kiss the bends of your knees
in appreciation for the work they do
keeping your head above water

— Mike Mcgee, “Everyday”

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I think about your thighs, and the warm, moist smell of your skin in the morning, and the tiny eyelash in each corner of your eye that I always notice when you first roll over to look at me. I don’t know why you are better and more beautiful than anybody else. I don’t know why your body is something I can’t stop thinking about, why those little flaws and ridges on your back are lovely to me or why the pale soft bottoms of your New Jersey feet that always wore shoes are more poignant than any other feet, but they are. I thought I would have more time to chart your body, to map its poles, its contours and terrains, its inner regions, both temperate and torrid — a whole topography of skin and muscle and bone. I didn’t tell you, but I imagined a lifetime as your cartographer, years of exploration and discovery that would keep changing the look of my map. It would always need to be redrawn and reconfigured to keep up with you. I’m sure I’ve missed things, or forgotten them, because half the time I’ve been wandering around your body blind drunk with happiness. There are still places I haven’t seen.

— Siri Hustvedt

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20:39
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But to come home each night
have a drink, go to bed,
and be so deeply understood by you
would be the greatest gift of my life
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