Instead of Hello

He doesn’t just shoot me a glance and a smile anymore
Today my acknowledgement was the extension of his index finger and thumb
In the shape of a gun
Followed by a wink.
I asked him if we were in a ‘80s movie.
He asked me how I would like to be greeted.

I want you to kiss me on the nose and then on the lips as I laugh
To handcuff your left hand to my ankle so you’d be in the perfect position to sweep me off my feet
Or reach through the ceiling, lasso the sun, stare at us both for a moment
And conclude I am the brightest star in the solar system
To trace over the lines on my hands as if they are roads and find yourself driving
Punch three boys near you, even if they weren’t looking at me,
Because you know that there’s a 40% chance one of them was, or at least thinking about doing so
Say I’m your Juliet, that you’d die to be with me
Also that you’re not my Romeo—you’d never leave me, and you'd at least check my pulse first
Strip down because you wanted to know if you could feel any more naked around me
Hold me in your arms and rock me to sleep
Call me by your name
For we are one vessel,
Conjoined by earth and time
You only feel yourself around me
Undress me with your eyes then kiss me on the wrist
Plant a tree wherever we are just so you can carve our initials in its core
Tell me that you were only with your girlfriend because sometimes when you hold the knockoff tight enough she feels like the real thing
Blessed is the One Who Makes the Evening Fall
Because in the darkness you are left alone with your thoughts and the image of me—
When the distractions are dead, we feel alive
Polish my heart to avoid stray fingerprints
Then press your hand between my atria
Forever making it a keyhole that you can open with a single touch

I want you to prove to me that you love me
To say all the unspoken words
And binding promises
Do all the things that unravel your kind
I want you to wander around with a bucket
So on the rare occasion we cross paths
You could hold it over our heads as you kissed me
So our lips would always met in the rain.

Yes, all of it.
Yes, in the middle of the hallway.
Yes, wedged between periods and people.
Because I am a hopeful romantic
Who believes that happy endings belong somewhere better than on a massage table
And that reality is only as strong as you let it be.

“I think you like the way I say hello.”
You say
You’re right.
I love everything you do.
It’s the acts you don’t that pierce my chest causing my lungs to deflate
And rib cage to shatter like fine china.
Maybe we should just come up with a handshake.


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