I used to think that love meant
Sitting on dirty air mattresses and
Going to the bathroom while balancing on
Broken toilet seats,
Ignoring the messages he was receiving from other girls and
Dropping him off at parties with my mom’s car,
Secretly and with my own gas money.
In other words –
Love was sacrificing comfort for another’s satisfaction,
Quietly tuning out the words of wisdom
My female family members had passed on to me
Words which never seemed to resonate at the right frequency
When I needed them the most.
I would wonder why their lectures to me about love
Oftentimes sounded so cruel:
“Because they loved me” was grounds for my
punishment for sneaking out of the house and
the restrictions places on my social availability,
but “Because I loved him” was never a
viable excuse –
my healthy relationship was with someone who
could not ‘love me’ with the same passion.
Healthy to me was a salad with my dinner every night
And not weighing too much but never
Someone who reciprocates my zeal and affection or
someone who blanketed my booboos.
I had been spending time with the type to
Step in my wounds.
My doctor asked me If I had a healthy relationship
And I said “I think so.”
Because I did really believe it.
I wish back then I would have known that
I still wouldn’t know how love
Tastes, feels, looks like or sounds,
But a healthy love is not just greens or equality.
If I had known I should command my love partner
To respect me ,
I would have saved myself
So much time and energy.