Some men are going to look at you and wonder about the others before him. Some people will look at you and summarize the entirety of who you are to the people who’ve touched you, kissed you, fucked you.
I grew up surrounded with the idea that the more of me I shared, the less of me there was left. That I was some kind of pie or cake or confectionary made for consumption. A math problem about how many pieces I could be cut into before there was nothing.
An idea that fingers were made to subtract. That your hands removed more than just clothing.
I held your chest under my bedroom lights. Straddled your waist, traced the sweat. Put my lips against the stubble of your chin, stretch of your smile.
What part of loving could possibly be subtraction.
I forced my hands through your hair. Held your head against my heart.
Weeks later. Twisted in the sheets. Legs tangled. Your arms turned pillows. I cried into your chest. The smell of deodorant, sweat. Sadness. One of thirty romance movies I’ve forced you to watch. The way your lips kissed my tears. The eagerness of your heart to swallow my sadness.
Wet kisses dissolving into melodic laughter. I can remember the smell of us. The placement of your hands, how your body added into mine. The small dip of your waist that cradled my legs.
It’s easier to say people take away; that value is dependent on euphemisms of locks and keys, body counts and the inconsequential.
It’s never the how many. It’s the how much. The feelings devoid of the numbers. The emotion behind the skin. The countless dates of thai food in bed, the Massaman of your kisses. It’s the plating of takeout, the doing of dishes, the reminder of antacids and healthy dosing of tummy rubs. It’s the panicked midnight calls, furniture building, fights over morning music choices. The synchronized teeth brushing.
The automatic cuddle positions.
Some people come into your life just asking to consume. Some people will enter your life like a fast food restaurant: exchanging minimal effort for instant gratification. Wait for the ones who wait. For the ones who sit down, fingertips through your menu, savoring every course.
Wait for the ones who know your order.
Wait for the ones who crave your taste.