"I love you."

"Honey, that's so cliche."
You mutter those words as I tuck your hair
behind the ears that never fail to listen.

What else am I to say?
As you are cradled in my arms,
sprawled out along the couch you insisted upon buying
when we first decided on our apartment
because it was the one part of home
you couldn't stand to have to live without.

What else am I to say?
As your hand encradles my own,
running my thumb across the golden symbol
of my never-ending adoration for you.

What else am I to say?
As the empty, unused room across the closet
is planned to be painted next Wednesday
with pastel gradients and white decorations
for the new baby girl
waiting for us at the orphanage.

What else am I to say?
As the photograph above the mantle
displays the last visit to our favorite boardwalk,
the brilliant manifestation of technicolor sparks
flashing intensely on an auburn sunset,
but with the combination of your floppy, thick-rimmed summer hat,
your retro wire-rimmed sunglasses,
and your smile that continues to still today
put every star in the sky to shame - 
everything could only dim in comparison.

What else am I to say?
As the bookmark kept on my nightstand
never lets me forget our first encounter
at the tiny cafe down a couple blocks from us,
with a huge caramel-scented blotch of coffee
and blue-ink scribbled number
to match perfectly.

What else am I to say?
As the obnoxiously bright-colored bobble-head
of that comic book character you like so much
continues to adorn the kitchen counter,
no matter how many times I've asked you to put it somewhere else
since it doesn't match the rest of the apartment.

What else am I to say?
As the heavy-knit winter coat on the coathanger
that I brought back on a trip from my parents'
continues to wear down
since you insist upon using it as often as possible
because no matter the weather,
it almost always feels like winter outside for you.

What else am I to say?
As I lean down
to press a tender kiss on your left temple,
my hands coming up to cup both of your cheeks,
nuzzling into the scent of your coconut shampoo
that you only ever buy by name - never off-brand.

What else am I to say,
when words can never truly express
every emotion washing over me?

"... yeah, I know."
(1/29/17)

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