I fell in love with his dancing feet,
the way his arms sculpted the air
around him into intensity.

I was born every night I saw him,
when he set his duffel down on the wooden slats
and smiled.
I fell in love with his eyes, that tight smile
carved into the illusion of ease.
I fell in love with his hair against the light;
the color of his lips
through breath, water, sweat.

I fell in love at an age when love is not love
but something to be defended.
I fell in love when I wasn’t meant to,
with someone who built and broke me,
cradled and threw me, held my gaze
if for the moments
that demanded it.

I fell in love with everything about him,
his backstage laughter, the music
that gave him the ability to move
through air as water,
the smell of his ferocity stitched
with perfume.

I fell in love, and it was as beautiful
as insanity packed into a small auditorium,
the way bandages are packed against wounds
to stop the bleeding.
It was passion loaded with longing
like a gun cocked against the temple,
finger wrapped around the pulsing trigger.
It was raw,
like the first draft of a quivering sentence.

And I could not defend it from myself.

I fell in love for the first time
with a man who never knew
that he danced my wounds into the ocean.
I jumped headfirst
into the lonely spotlit canyon
of his stage, and my broken body
took the shape of music I could not understand.

I fell in love with everything about him
except myself. If I had been less afraid
to shatter our illusion of ease,
perhaps my love would have softened.
But I fell in love and I kept falling,
watched his dancing feet
grow smaller,
his scent grow fainter,
the air around him
intensify into nothing more
than water.



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