if she loved me

right now, she’s probably home alone

making laps around the house

room to room, betta to betta

talking to fish, to herself


but if she loved me, 

I’d listen 

to her detail the lives of her fishes,

each, confusingly, named after breakfast food

her excitement would be contagious as yawns

and I’d get lost in the flush of her cheeks,

the way she smiles without showing her teeth

if she loved me, 

I’d brew her black coffee in the morning

and in the evenings, 

I’d hold her close on the couch

while we watch Pixar movies

when she’s working the night shift,

I’d keep the bed warm for her early-morning return

and I wouldn’t let her shower alone

because she once said she’s done that enough already

I’d brush a bar of soap across her back

when her wrists are hurting

admire the way water droplets collect on her skin


I’d cherish her poems and love letters,

each line distilled from her heart strings

and if she whispered in my ear

how she’s wearing lace just for me,

I wouldn’t set her aside

because I know how difficult it is for her

to be vulnerable

and if she were too sad to speak,

I’d press her head against my bare chest

because she likes the texture of my hair

and I’d show her pictures of baby plecos

until she feels better


I’d memorize the pattern of moles 

sprinkled across her hands

and I’d never bruise her arms

at night, our limbs would intertwine,

our pulses synchronized and steady

her soft breath tickling my ear

and I would drift off, thinking

about how I would do anything

to keep her near

in the morning, when her eyelids flutter open

I wouldn’t stop kissing her

until she pulled away, grinning, to breathe


if she loved me,

I wouldn’t hesitate

to show her

I am her best friend

her lover

her partner

if she loved me,

I wouldn’t hesitate

to cherish her

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