I Love You, You Know

Sep 1, 2023 | 2023 Fall - Bi+ Joy, Poetry

By Olivia Catharine

I whisper into the crook of his neck
he replies I know.
And that’s all I get.
But somehow, it’s fine. Somehow, I don’t mind.
I do love him, but I also don’t find myself missing him
at night, when everyone in the world is missing someone.
I think he is beautiful and I want him to kiss me,
but I can’t picture him when I close my eyes.
Not his mouth at least, not his jaw under my thumb.
When he chooses someone else I cry, when he grows up
and gets married I entertain a fantasy of fucking him at the
reception, just to ensure I’m never forgotten. Not because I want to.
I think maybe I am not made for desire and deep understanding.
I think maybe I will never get what I want.

Then you

Then everything
is new and makes sense
Oh, this is it
This is all the lights turning on at once
This is the world’s largest disco ball rainbowing, this is everyone you love shouting “Surprise!”
This is first taste of spring air after winter, this is food when you’re starving, this is fucking
This is fever breaking, cry laughing, scream singing, eyes widening, hands reaching
This is God’s real, this is God’s real, this is God’s real

I promise myself to love you forever
to say your name ten times out loud each day just to feel you
on my tongue.
I touch my own cheek and imagine your thumb,
I close my eyes and you’re smiling at me.
I say your name out loud and it turns into a promise
God’s real, God’s real, God’s real

and for the first time I feel it
for the first time, I pray
that this time, I will get what I want.

Olivia Catharine is a writer and an educator, and has been published in the Connecticut River Review, Funicular Magazine, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and Devastation Baby.

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