I want to go to bed alone.
I love you more than our toothbrushes love kissing, but
When I wake up tomorrow morning and feel my eyelashes get warm
I don’t want you to be there.
I’d like a bigger bed please.
One of those King size kinds that implies a big strong boy needs to be there. And a man named Leon needs to sell it. And although I’d like you to be there, I’d like you to be there only to carry it. I’d like Leon not to be there. See
My staircase is windy and
My doorframe is small.
We’ll probably have to remove a frame or a door or a doorframe or something and, I don’t understand, I just need you to carry it and kiss me on the nose and then leave right after because
I want to go into my big boy bed alone.
I am a girl.
I want to slide my small body into what was built for something bigger because
I want to take up a whole small corner of the bed.
I know there’s room for you.
I know there’s room for you but I don’t want you to crawl through my bedroom window and fill it
Not just because my Dashboard Confessional days are dead now and no I’m not over I’ll never be over Joey or Dawson or the ladder she climbed on but simply because
I want the space to be there.
I want the space to be there and I don’t want to fill it.
I don’t want to fill it with anything you can see, see
I want to take up space just by breathing.
I want to take up space the whole other three corners of the bed just by breathing.
I want to starfish.
I want to breathe starfish.
I want to breathe starfish and I want to go to bed alone
Especially when I’m sad.
And I crave your arms your long arms your long brown monkey arms around me my face in your brown monkey chest like the baboons we watched at the zoo when you asked if I’d groom you and I laughed knowing I would,
Lost in each other,
I want to be lost without you.
Especially when I’m sad.
I want to brush my teeth first.
Tonight I’m even going to floss.
Not because I’m going to kiss you or my toothbrush is kissing your toothbrush but because dental hygiene is one of the key components to overall health and
I want to care about my health, see
I want to live to one hundred and three.
Not because I want to spend 103 years with you (although I would like to spend 103 years with you) but because my great grandmother did it and she did it with incredible Grace and she did it not for anyone but for herself and perhaps tea and biscuit time.
I want to wake up to pee.
I want to wake up to pee and I don’t want you to be there because
I want to run back to bed a little bit scared.
I want to run from the toilet before my pee is done because I heard something downstairs and I want to jump into my bed and into the arms of a bear whose never looked more like just a bear.
I want to wrap myself in arms I can’t hide in.
I want to have trouble falling asleep.
I want to have trouble falling asleep a little bit because I’m scared mostly because I miss you but partly because that pee feeling to still there and I can’t get up what if somebody catches me.
I want to find comfort in my own monkey arms.
And then I want to fall asleep.
When I wake up, I want to spread my limbs like noodles and
I want to look for you, reach for you
Like I spent all night becoming Al Dente, for you,
And I don’t want you to be there.
I want to lie in stillness sans you.
I want to wonder if your eyelashes are warm and
I want to wonder if you’ve missed me.
I want to not ask you.
Because even if I asked you and you recited a line from Pablo Neruda (like that part about the feet) words are just words and I’d never really know and
I want to be courageous enough not to know.
And I want to miss you so much I ask for a sleepover tomorrow. And the next day and the next.
And every 5437829075423098473208472 days of the year I want to go to bed with you. But every once in awhile,
I want to go to bed alone.
And even when we’re 103,
I want to slide out of bed even if it takes three hours. I want to slide out of the bed and slip down the stairs and sit in an upright chair.
And our granddaughter might come by because it’s still only 9PM and think I’m dead because I’m so perfectly still but then she’ll touch my nightgown-covered heart and feel me breathing and thank goodness grandma’s sleeping.
But I won’t be sleeping, see
I’ll be resting in space.
I’ll be sitting there in eyes-closed space feeling what it is to be without you.
Because even when we spoon my bum between your thighs and your low belly there’s a spot where we’ll never touch. The natural curve of my lumbar spine will always move away from you. And there will always be space there, see
I know that toothbrushes can’t kiss forever,
and that this space will always be here.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock
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