When a boy tells you he loves you, it’ll be the first time you hear this.
It is late, and he isn’t even there to tell you this in person; but instead, from a car ride home from a bar in Chicago, he is there on business.
Of course, you will smile because he sounds like he means it, because you believe him, because a boy has never handed those words to you like crushed blackberries in the palms of his hands — firm, young, full, waiting to taste sweet with you.
His arms, creeping vines, begging to touch the sun in your face saying, “Here, take everything I have ever touched to be closer to you.” His breath, waiting to be folded into a love note passed in between the nape of your neck and his front teeth.
He will remember the time you told him you felt safe in his mouth, and he will never grow hungry. Just distant.
When a boy tells you he loves you, you will hear music, the voice of your past lovers dancing up your throat, your stomach, and after-hours cabaret still waiting on the last call.
That was when you learn that when a boy says “I love you”, he means “I am getting ready to be inconsistent with you now.”
This boy will tell you that he loves you not long after he had you waiting for two hours in front of a cocktail lounge. Patience is something you were working on, but no, not for him.
When he asked you to tell him that you love him back, you will be in a car in the parking lot of a late-night diner. You will watch the words fall into your lap like a spilled glass of white wine.
You will remember the day your courier pigeon heart got lost in the wind because that was a message you did not know how or where to carry. And one by one, the boys have fallen as silently as the birds do.
So eloquently, they used to speak until I asked the questions that broke them into ghosts, that bled me into a corpse with so many questions of my own for the soil, but their tongues do not know simple.
The things I should be hearing, the things that will make us living men in this time of insatiable, yet dying lovers.
When a boy tells you he loves you, only to become silent like a folded sheet of tissue paper, not wanting you to decrease him into the truth, do not crack your face into the fullest crescent moon at the tapered bottom of a blackened sky.
He never meant a single word of any of it. He is just a boy, remember? He is just another silly, sad boy, remember?