As of January 1, 2015, my girlfriend Liz and I have been dating for four years. While I don’t consider myself an expert on relationships, I think Liz and I have found our own definition of “perfect.” This is for her.

last week,
i read something on the internet that said:
         “you know you’ve found your soul mate
         if you fall asleep AND wake up
         holding each other.”
if that’s true, i guess we’re not meant to be,

because when we fall asleep,
our bodies fit together perfectly—
litter of puppies, redwood roots,
hand clutching banister at midnight,
the puzzle piece relief of rolling over into
the tale end of a nightmare and finding
your arms instead—

but you wake up hurricane, and i wake up
island at the mercy of all your gorgeous;
i’d rather be a shipwreck in your smile
than a lifejacket anywhere else, but luckily
you don’t make me choose between
being alive and being happy.

the bed is never big enough for
both sets of hips, so we unpack our
baggage to make room—
our underwear gets mixed up and
we end up wearing identical shirts,
         but that’s okay.

four years ago, i tried to wane myself
winter moon, and you told me i
was allowed to take up as much space
as i needed, and i still get excited
when you want to hold hands—
like i am a freshman in high school all
over again, and you are the hottest
upperclassman on my bus.

i read somewhere on the internet that
         being in love is easy;
if that’s true, i guess this has just been
one looooooooong booty call, because

sometimes i don’t know
how to talk to you the same way
i don’t know how to
talk to god; i am hot water
and you are boiling over, and
neither of us wants to
get hurt, so we start to pack our
baggage—and then we remember
what we’re doing; we’re not trying
to be perfect, we’re just trying
to be happy. and i am.

yesterday, over brunch at our
favorite diner, you told me i was
perfect, and you were sorry
you hadn’t said that a lot recently.
dear god, dear girl—

i’m told conversing with deities
requires a messenger—
for god, the pope; for you, a poem—
congregation, cunnilingus—
i am not an atheist because i believe
in us. in unholy prayer. second
chances. maybe the internet

was right, and being in love is just
finding the right religion. maybe—
         we are.


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