Cross My Heart and Hope

It was so much easier then, when just holding
your breath through the tunnel was enough,
we said, to make whoever you loved love you back.

Another sure method: to hold up your feet
when you crossed over railroad tracks. On a bridge,
we put both hands on the ceiling. In class,

we wrote simple notes. “Do you love me? Circle
yes or no.” What did we know then of love
except that we wanted it, preferably 4ever

2gether. We read all the rules in black marker
on the playground—or at slumber parties reading
Judy Blume out loud. We were so curious about

the how of it. And I suppose I am curious, still.
Could I love you better? And what would it look like?
And where do we go from here? They didn’t go

this far in paperback books or on see saw etchings—
past happily ever after to the part where we choose
to eat dark greens together, choose bitterness sometimes

over sweet. I don’t know the answers, love, do not
even know what I want except that today, going
over the tracks, I lifted my legs to be sure that you love me.

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