all my romantic
have given me
gift-like somethings
presents of the
unseen kind

i am aware of these
almost daily
i am aware of the learnings
and the men who bestowed
them upon me
in me

i haven’t dated many
i started late
didn’t have a first date till 18
didn’t kiss a boy till then either
i wanted to wait till i was in love
but instead waited
till it was too awkward
not to kiss
till all my dodging
of what i considered
not the “real” thing
left me lonely
and excruciatingly insecure

i mean really
i think i was the only
eighteen year old i knew
that had never been kissed
talk about embarrassing
well at least to 18 year old me
it was super embarrassing

but i digress…

a late bloomer
to say the least
i was quite advanced in some things
like decorative painting
and living history
and quite rudimentary in other things
like making out
and interacting socially

being homeschooled
had some major upsides
it also left me with some serious
or at least ways in which i felt
behind or separate
different from my peers

so i have always relied
on those closest
best girlfriends
or boyfriends
to catch me up here
to expose me to the aspects
of culture i missed
like making love
and cool contemporary music

i grew up with the classics
when it came to music
radio listening occasionally…
which i was reminded of recently
when alone in my car
i turned the radio on
and wow
was it unpleasant
and it had me reflect
with a surge of gratefulness
that one of the best
most consistent gifts
i have gotten from the men
i’ve dated
is music

i’ve had the pleasure
of being with men
who adore music
and who
have brought
soul stirring
heart delighting
spirit dancing
body quivering
music into my life

mixtapes and art
were my very first boyfriend’s
love language
he made me mix-cds
and i guess that imprinted me
to know love through music
played for me
given to me

i’ve had that in spades
these last two years
some of my favorite
most precious songs
of all time
he has given me
as we have zigzagged
across this country
basking in beauty
stereo blasting
feelings falling
from our eyes


for sure
(yet again)
he has given


❤️ emily joy rosen

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