Written by Atticus Payne
Art by Leah Prodigalidad

Would it surprise you that most days I now know not what to say? This roving, writhing, writing mind that reaches to engulf every sensation, touch, rush, impulse in words of ringing rightness…is left limp and still at the scrape of your presence. 

You have that strange effect.

And I may regret if I say not what my chest bursts, rattling, ribcage cracking, lungs groan to speak of this falling safety you’ve found for me. For if I hold my breath and let this pass, let it expand and then push out yet again, what if this careful carded castle simply came and went and fell to dust? If it were not immortalised, would I remember the exact shade of your light as it warmed my tingling skin, pricking the hairs of my neck in delicious excitement for something so new and true and altogether quite frightening?

Yet here I am, and as I try, my mind scatters these fragments of memories to reflect in muddled imagery that could never properly capture the calm rock-ing hold of your hand against my leg, my head against your neck, your words in seven languages stumbling to keep this sacred calm in human empirical sense. Indescribable, we decide. Deity must have brought this lovely flame alive. Those words, once twisted on your tongue, now slipping freely into air—

Do I have that strange effect?

Closer now, and still, so foreign to the real form of things. How, how, can I show them what you’ve given me? See, I should not have even tried. But now I have started and so must see it through; you see, don’t you? 

Should I cast these words to rest, then, my heart, my dear shaking heart? These lines, that I ever promised I’d write my first real love poem about, then nearly never saw through for having waited too long. Is this where they deserve to lie? 

Perhaps I will be stingy with this sacred secret of mine. Who above Him could know how long this whim will keep for? So I’ll lock those words away, leaving only the imprint of this wisp I promised to put down someday. 

How fortunate am I, that someone loves me enough to be made light and whole simply by my presence. 

And how I love you, my darling love. And how I wish to rush far ahead past constraints and know the true extent of love. But that is not the will of the wise, and to them, we yet answer; though not the same person, for now of yet the same mind. 

So I will breathe, and I will wait, and stand on the edge all the same, obstinately wordless to my description of you, of I, of us. For that, I must beg your forgiveness, and too, hope that you will never forgive me. This most grievous wrong, that you allow. 

And so do I. I am sorry.