i told you i needed to use the bathroom but really i wanted some space so that you wouldn’t see me tear up. i don’t know if this was the tear of gratitude, relief or guilt, i just feel so incredibly lucky that you could see me in a way that i wouldn’t even have the courage to conjure up.
If someone asked me “What are the signs of love?” I would have said without hesitation, It’s the familiarity and the removal of cost, And to find yourself not having to lie, and the embarrassment removed between you two, and see yourself acting in your nature without trying to be something else so she likes you, And that you two keep silent and the silence gets delicious, And that one of you two talk and listening gets delicious.
| Mustafa Mahmoud
I guess it can’t be too often that two people can laugh and make love, too, make love because they are laughing, laugh because they’re making love. The love and the laughter come from the same place: but not many people go there.
| James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk
“I admit I do want love to swallow us whole and have us stay alive somehow in the being-swallowed & then not be swallowed forever; we can come up for air, and then we come up new and wise.”
What I want from the river is what I always want / to be held by a stronger thing that, in the end, chooses mercy.
∆ Oliver Baez Bendorf, “Advantages of Being Evergreen” (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2019)
But at night I dream of a love so heavy it makes my spine throb—I dream up a lover who makes love like he is separating salt from water.
| Salma Deera