1. Loving someone is humiliating. It's bloody. It's the hardest fucking thing you'll ever do in your life. At first you're easy for them, you can't keep yourself from spilling over into song. You could power a city block from the remembered warmth of their touch.
    You'd drag your body across salt flats, across rock beds if it protected them. You'd dance around their edges the rest of your life just for a few seconds in the golden light of their smile. There's no dignity here. There's nothing you wouldn't do. It's so embarrassing to be laid bare like this: the cords of your neck live wires that spark when they're near; your feelings unfurled in the slightest breeze.
  2. But that part doesn't last, not in the way you expected. Love shifts, it changes, you’re still held fast. The worst parts of yourself are dragged out into the light— your spiny heart, your lack of courage.
    You disappoint yourself. You are in turn disappointed. You must ask to be forgiven. You have to find it in yourself to forgive. Love keeps no record of wrongs, but you do. You’re learning how not to.
  3. Love is brutal. It pulls you apart, sends you to your knees battered and gasping for breath. You fight with each other, slinging arrows and twisting the knife into the tender underside of the heart the way that only lovers can.
    Love is desperate, love is sacrificing. You fight for each other, choosing to stay, wrenching yourself open and remaining so, bathing each other's wounds and bandaging each other's hurts.
  4. In every world you're digging through the rubble for love. It’s in the past now, but sometimes you still wish your love would leave the door open for you to slip back through. You’d be different. You’d know better. You’ve sawed off your hard edges, reinforced your brittle places, you won't break so easily this time.
    You go back there again and again, but this time you want to be the saint, you already were the wretch.
  5. In the early morning dark you repeat these words like a spell: I was in love. I had something once. Something precious and awful and holy and mine.