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19 valentines

19 valentines 

everything i learned about love has been passed down 

through cooking maja,  picking up lukewarm miller lite and saving halloween candy. 

through carefully crafted, delicately impermeable relationships,  i have been taught 

by the grace of a vanilla scented aunt what it means to love. 

my family, though loud,

 is soft. it’s buttery,  

it’s sweetness is unconditional and rich. 

love to me is stability.

i bask in predictability and wither up in stark change.

 it is choosing at every moment to show up, no matter how, in what way or form, show up. 

love is sturdy and can hold a lot, but i’ve learned as long as you show up it’s there. 

It’s love to keep the jalapeño label on the jar i drink my coffee out of,

It’s love to keep your dirty shirt balled up on the floor,

It’s love to dry out old gifted flowers until its fall in the living room,

It’s love to keep you around, and to keep coming around

i’ve learned the way i love is…

maybe there should be conditions?

 if there were a clear set of rules to follow, 

maybe the depth of the sweetness wouldn’t cause cavities,

 maybe it would hurt a little less and become softer. 

but the sweetness nonetheless sneaks through no matter what part of it hurts, 

It comes out when i draw self portraits and end up concocting a 5×7 mock up of my best friend and mother combined

i emulate those i love and emulate the love they give me

my sense of self is so deeply intertwined with such a concept. 

the way they love me taught me how to emulate their own to myself

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