Poem: Love Negotiations

You laugh.
At the unexpectedness of my bluntness
And ask me how can I know
About the constantly negotiating
Measurements in your head.

I get up next to you,
Not in the morning
Breast to breast
Unafraid of intrusion from your suspicious neighbour,
as we’d imagined
And continue to for our bodies to be intertwined in,
But on an afternoon
When our kohled eyes, too groggy for the light
Are illuminated by the sun
Falling from your window,
Just enough for me to see
How much you’ve come to love me.

We talk about that morning
When we’ll wake up
In sheets, white preferably,
(you see, we have equally
been corrupted by the media portrayals
of how steamier hotel romances can be
within those white sheets)
And talk in that light,
Brighter, obviously,
Falling off our bare shoulders,
Enough to reveal how my tongue navigated
The soft of your skin the night before,
Picking up where we left off
From that day when you asked me,
Like the many times you do
Hiding in the casualness the fear
Of this kind of love, our kind of love,
“How much do you love me?”.

In a dilemma of whether
To answer quantitatively
Like my hands reaching their widest
As a metaphor for as much as in my capacity,
The clichéd, “to the moon and back”
Letting you be consumed by the math
Of light years and equations of velocity,
Or to dissolve it into a more abstract
Description from some love psychology
I instead look at you,
To the light looming over your broad collar bones,
And say, preparing myself
For the disappointment you’ll feel,
“More than you think”.

You laugh.
At the unexpectedness of my bluntness
And ask me how can I know
About the constantly negotiating
Measurements in your head.
I know because they run in my head too,
But I look at you and say nothing.
Should I ask how much do you love me,
Dissolve, maybe temporarily settle your query?
Or should I let it remain suspended
As an unsettling reminder
Of when my love will be asked
To prove its authenticity,
I might fail to breach
The way of my closeted reality?

About the author

JS

Angry, feminist, forever curious.
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