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Petal by petal
drop by drop
I bare myself to you
like treading on eggshells
like painting on ash
but I don’t really aim
as much for perfection
as to simply
make the dream
last longer

        because I’m too old
        to be haphazardly
        rushing and crashing into things
        sleepwalking through romance
        covered in the sharp debris
        of my previous foolishness

inch by inch
phone call by phone call
I get to know you
painstakingly cautious
and the ephemerality of each week
tiptoeing towards
each adamantine Sunday morning
makes my muscles ache
and my lips quiver

        I’ve been ready
        to stand naked
        in front of you
        nine lifetimes ago

there are certain things
we are careful not to look at
but we see them
we’ve gotten accustomed to
using this word
in the place of that word

        someone once told me
        in Number Theory class
        that even a million
        is within epsilon-distance
        from zero
        compared to infinity

our cautiousness tortures me
what’s the use
if I can still feel myself—