From “The Lullabies Your Mom Didn’t Write for You”
I keep grabbing fragments of the moments in time
Where your fingertips touched your phone screen and your words show up on mine.
And I’m deeply possessive. Not of things and not of you
Just the text messages where I feel my heart beat a little closer to you
But your presence is as solid as when we went running on the beach
I held your hand, hid in the sand, and wondered whether you’d be someone I could keep.
And then you’re wrapped in my arms, your hair flung across my chest
There’s a church behind us but God knows this is more holy than all those saints he blessed
I want to kiss you forever. I want to dance with you in the moon light
Print a picture of your face the way it’s captured in my mind’s sight
With red light pouring over you, when I’m afraid the cops have found us
The sun slides away with upstate New York closing in around us
And you hold my hand and squeeze it tight until I drop you off at home
But I wish you’d stay in the car with me. We’d never be alone.
A picture can paint a thousand words
But what happens when a thousand words make up the entirety of a picture?
I’d create a collage with every message you send
Until your good morning texts become a permanent fixture
But for right now, when I ramble when I text
Hoping you’ll laugh, that you won’t think that I’m a lot
I’ll arrange my feelings in a hope-shaped border
And wait for you to love me. But until then, I’ll just save screenshots.
© Chapin Langenheim, 2023