Old Friends

Sometimes you laughed at me.

It’s funny how laughter can mend a heart. Or break it.

Or knock it off its pedestal with an aluminum baseball bat.

But laughter is usually a good thing,

and it can only break a heart because there is a heart to break,

and that’s a good thing too, despite the ache.

I wanted to say I love you.

It’s painful, when those words don’t mean anything anymore.

They’re the best words we have in a thin language,

made thin as a piece of white paper full of empty black letters and holes.

When I say I love you and you don’t understand

it hurts worse than when you laugh at me.

Sometimes I just want to look you in your eyes

and stay there awhile.

I guess I just want you to know; you wouldn’t laugh then.

Not because it isn’t funny, really. But you’d probably be embarrassed.

Love is an embarrassing thing. That’s important.

It isn’t comfortable. It’s vulnerable, like laughter.

That is precious.

When I saw you looking at that painting of a tulip;

That was love.

It’s more honest than you think.

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