i remember how he tasted
pungent and ashy
i was a bit of a purest
i wanted to be in love
before i kissed

the thing was
i was so afraid of intimacy,
always dodging closeness
that day never came
it wasn’t till i was 18
that i kissed a boy

i was in college
a freshman,
he was older, a junior i believe
i remember him coming towards me,
lips wet, eyes closed

i stopped him to say
“i have never done this before”
he laughed and pulled me close
it wasn’t until later
when i left embarrassed
that i realized he thought i meant
a one night stand

he for sure did not love me
and i was in a perfectly imaginary relationship
with him

i have a habit of talking to people
when they’re not around
building connections
that are completely one sided
and never articulated
over the years i’ve shared this with friends
and they have shared similarly
it seems many of us live in our heads
in some sort of fantasy

i’m grateful for the ones
who have helped me strip that away
the ones who have held me
in connection
with a raw sincerity

i wish that along with geometry,
we were taught how to be with people
i think we could all benefit from some humanizing
i find that whenever i take time to really listen,
to get close and stop the games
the love is there
it’s always there

under the hurt,
the fear,
the story
we can meet

and while it may get messy
it may sting
and yes
we’ll have a way higher probability
of getting rejected
and hurt
i believe it is worth it

in my experience
a broken heart
is better than a numb one

i have had them both
and it is ironically
just as painful not to feel,
as it is to show up differently

so here is what i am reminding myself to do
in the face of the transition
i am going through:
breathe deep
feel fully
and love

because i am certain
a bruised heart
is better
than a closed one

❤️ emily joy rosen

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