My copy of In Case You Come Back by Marla Miniano and Reese Lansangan came today (thanks Jian), so this poem is sort of “after” the words I’ve read.
Sometimes you find someone
who is the warm blanket when your heart
is scared and cold and shaky.
You aren’t in love with them, necessarily.
You aren’t ready, but,
like how it’s possible to visit another city,
and for a while call it home,
proximity makes you feel less afraid to admit, “For now, I am alone” because
“Alone” is not so big a word when you’re beside them;
within reach, a smile to ride out the storm inside you. And,
you will not call them “yours,”
say you belong to them, or
take parts of their heart to build a nest in, easily,
with them you somehow share a gravity.
You don’t feel like you’re suffocating.
You don’t feel like you’re making
a mistake, or have to be wary,
The easy word for what you have
For my “homes in other cities.” Thank you for helping me be alone.