August 14, 2016

I Don’t Love You, but I think I Could.

Bruna Schenkel/Flickr

I don’t love you, though I think I could.

I don’t know you the way I hope to,

but I think you were meant to be known.


You feel simple to me.

Not bad simple, like something is missing.

Just uncomplicated.


And I wonder if you’re living a whole other world in your head.

Or if you’re content, accepting of your life and its routine.

Is this what it looks like to be at peace?


I wonder if there’s more to you.

Am I expecting too much?

Searching for complexities and issues and tidbits of anything but normal,

where none exists.

Am I only able to accept the bruised and battered?

The ones who’ve been through hell

and choose to keep one foot firmly planted on its soil?


I don’t love you, though I think I could.

Because when you look at me and smile,

there’s an innocence and knowing that pulls me in.

When you hold me, there’s a presence I haven’t felt before.

Like you are 100 percent in your body.

Like holding me is the only thing you planned to do that day.

And I feel safe.

Safe enough to close my eyes, to drift away and know I’m okay.


So often we are made to feel that we shouldn’t “play it safe”

when it comes to love.

That true love, real connection, should be exhilarating—

feel fated even.

That safe means boring.

But all I know is I like the way it feels when you reach for my hand.


I don’t love you, though I think I could.

And probably easier than I believe.

But I feel like it will happen slowly,

in moments and minutes and sweet smiles and arms that hold on tight.

I don’t know you the way I hope to,

but I feel like you were meant to be known.

You are strange and scary and quiet and kind.

I feel like you know yourself and there is a comfort in that—

not just for you, but for me.


But there is also apprehension, because I think I could be different with you.

I could feel settled and safe.

I could learn what it feels like to exist without drama

and I worry I won’t know how to breathe in that.

I worry that I will become the drama;

that it is so ingrained in me that I will pick up where it left off.

That I will morph into the very dysfunction I longed to avoid.


Then I think about you and your calm;

your even temper and how you pause before you speak and laugh quietly at my jokes

and approach everything with a timid strength and warm smile.

I think about how you’ve lived longer and maybe you’ve found your place.

How you seem comfortable in a way that feels exciting to me

because you aren’t wandering, searching, trying to “find yourself.”

Maybe you were trying to find me.

And maybe I had to wade through the immaturity and the pain and the wanting and the tears

to realize that safe is okay, safe is—if we’re lucky—the end game.


I shouldn’t be this comfortable with you.

I shouldn’t feel all the things I feel.

I shouldn’t want to want you like I do.

But there you are.

And while I still don’t love you, I truly think I could.



Author: Nicole Cameron

Image: Bruna Schenkel/Flickr

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