“I walked back with you after I missed my bus. Or rather, the bus missed me. I thought, “How lucky! How nice to stay here, with you, for just six more hours.” And when I asked you to stay the night, you thought, “How impossible! How confining. Five more hours?! I should be home!”
But you never liked home. No, home was the word made of cages that trapped you. That held you down. Then I feared that my name would replace home. That I would become four walls of cages that held you down. That kept you in.
I only wanted to love you.
We wrote each other poetry and looked deeply at each other. And we meant it. We meant the words, the gazes. When you said you were falling for me, I didn’t realize you were like a deer stepping gingerly over the leaves of a hidden hole, one you might fall through and never escape.
When you colored love in a rosy tone and gave it to me in a bag filled with thousands of words that reminded you of me, I didn’t know. I still don’t know what you meant by that.
You’re scared to lose me. But I’m already gone.
I won’t be a cage. I won’t be a reason you didn’t live.
For him, I will be a reason to live. I will be a key to a door he didn’t realize was locked. I will run across the world with him without ever leaving our bedroom. Though, believe me, we will leave.
When we say goodbye, and look at each other for the last time, I will mean it.
What you will mean, I’ll hardly know.
It’s okay. I’m okay now. Love is never long held down.
You see, if you let it, love can set you free.”
— Trapped by Patricia Dalinis