what ifs.

by Michael King

what if i told you
your name is
the missing word
on a hundred
crumpled-up love letters
in the corner of
my living room

what if i read you
a list of the small things
you do
that birth quiet tidal waves
against my sternum

what if i shared the
story, up to now,
filling in the spaces
i left empty so as
not to ask for
too much

what if i promised
i want nothing in return,
no need for even a
response, i just need
these feelings to
know honest air

what if those
promises were just
new lies, new
ways of painting
myself safe

what if everything
crumbled, my palms
acquainting again
with the roughly paved
road of being the one
who loved somebody
more

what if i kept
holding my breath, just
for now, while my
mind argues with
my heart, pointing at
the past, gesticulating
wildly, we have
tread these rocks
before

what if you’re
waiting, aware in
some quiet way,
flowers already bunched
in your shaking palms

Three Houses