The other day, someone asked me, What do you believe in? Without thinking, I almost gave up your name, let it slip like a river, turned out it like an ocean tide. Without hesitation, my heart conjured your face and the way your voice sometimes catches on your smile – unhesitating and full, like a wish that never stops being true. Without a doubt, I remembered every word you’d ever said and those you’ve held in, tightly. Words, you know, never stop breathing, even when they’re stuck in your throat. Even when they’re hidden in the corner. Belief is like that: always what it is, never more or less.
I believe in the way you say my name, as if it is a prayer. I believe in every impossible possible thing, like how a storm can bring lighting or a rainbow – and they are both beautiful. I believe in passion that does not pretend to love, and that passion is love’s shadow. I believe in renegotiating the world, just to keep you. Give me the pomegranate seeds. Hand me the apple. Don’t look back.
I believe in patience and forever, but I do not say this. Those words are kept like a pacing jaguar, prowling at night: dangerous, and yet unseen. This is a creature we both feed. This is a creature we both flee and pursue. This is, at times, what love is: keeping the balance. Trying not to be consumed, yet willingly holding out a hand to the consequences. Is it bravery if you’re hands aren’t shaking? Is it hope if it feels like madness? Is there, I wonder, a way to love and still keep your footing? For me, it is a freefall.
I keep a thousand secrets, like stars, stark against the night sky – each night, I wish on every one. Sometimes, we make promises without speaking. Sometimes, we keep fighting for things, when saner fools would’ve given up, retreated – I know nothing of this. I do not believe in halves or halfway. This is patience. This is kindness. This is the very best madness.
I hold your name in my mouth. I like the way it tastes. I like the way it feels like it belongs to me. Another thing I never say – that I belong to you. That your kiss is what home feels like. That your hands are an open door. That the way you look at me keeps me. That everything about you feels like a warm bed and blankets on a lazy Sunday morning.
What do you believe in?