this is how i love you

my body is this nebulous thing. i consciously avoid going too deeply. its mysterious rolling hills and valleys and dark places scare me.  knowing what lies beneath this skin means knowing everything. 

it’s easier to move through this world a bag of spaghetti and bones. inconsequential and  tangible and easy to swallow. 

not this dark sticky confusing mass of secrets

what if I look closely and confirm 

there is nothing special here. you are not worth knowing.

i can’t look at my round calves and proclaim their greatness.  I can’t present to you my belly, separated into two hemispheres, my belly button living in the deep fold of my equator, and tell you that this is love. 

the most I can spare is two long minutes in front of the bathroom mirror upon first waking up.  my hair sticks straight up and out of the messy bun I slept in, reaching for the sky. this is ok.

my face with fresh lines telling me I slept hard last night. this is ok.

I wipe the crust from my eyes and adjust my glasses and look again. 

this is what I look like. this is what I look like.

this is how I love you. this is how I love you.

again and again. it has to start small. everything else may or may not come along for the ride but today this is enough and I wash my face with cold water and my dog finds me and licks my calves telling me he is ready to start the day.