What you do to my stomach is what boy scouts do to rope–

I am all knots around you.

The sight of you is a rising sun.

And even if I were cavalier,

you thaw the chilliest parts of me.


I am a strong, independent woman:

Domain of Athena,

Queendom of Beyonce,

Phylum of Joan of Arc,

Order of Michelle Obama,

Family of Mulan,

Genus of Malala,

Species of Cheryl Strayed.


But around you,

I am all giggles,

All blushing and school girl auras.

I speak in Valentines and trip over my own two feet.


Around you, I am a softer animal.

My walls wilt to flowerbeds in your eyes.

I go out of my way for you– which is largely how I trip over my own two feet.


I see you.

I want to be here with you,

feel the bounty of your hands in mine.

I want to make you feel so safe every secret crawls out of its hiding place,

resurrect all the dead languages you only hum to yourself in private because they sound too intimate at any other decibel.

And I won’t exile you to a pedestal,

I can’t stand with you all the way up there.


Like a siren to the sailor,

You draw me so deep into the ocean before I wonder if I know how to swim.

You don’t just give me butterflies–

You give me an entire insectarium.

The thought of you gives all my knotted insides wings.


You could clip those wings.

You could make a mockery of those knots,

And I all I can do is jitter in the wild hope that you won’t.

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