a letter to my valentine

Dear Valentine,

I’m not going to lie
and say it’s easy
to love you.

You are a real
prickly pain in the ass

You’re stubborn
and snappish.
You’re always sneaking treats.

You run away
and build a wall
of busyness and noise

when you should stay
and talk about your hurt feelings.
What’s wrong with you?

You run so hot, all day, all night.
It feels like you don’t ever slow down
just to be with me. I miss you.

You always tell me
when I’ve done something
wrong, when I’ve forgotten.

You tell me all the time:
The house isn’t very clean.
I’m out of socks again.
What do you do all day long?

And I’ll tell you something else,
you could really be nicer to me.
Despite everything, I do love you.

So you don’t have to
call me names
like stupid

person ever.

You don’t have to
make those sounds when I’m getting dressed for a movie –


That really hurts my feelings.
It makes me feel alone, worthless,
so unlovable.

You could really give me more time
to eat

You could let me finish writing this letter
before calling me, urgently,
to some other need you have –

What! A snack?
What! You’re sad?
Ugh, I was writing. Please let me write.

Hey, you could listen to me more
when I say I’m hungry.
I’m sad. I'm telling you because it matters.

I need you to listen to me
when I’m rattling hangers
and sighing heavy sighs and it’s an hour until the movie starts.

Listen to what I’m not saying
as I stand in a bra and unzipped jeans,
thinking about how I used to be,

and respond to that:
It doesn’t matter what you wear.
Your worth isn’t in your appearance.
You are wonderful, just like this.

Listen to me when I say
that a treat, in the quiet room alone,
would really make my day.
Take your time, love.

Listen to me:
I like to be busy.
I’m proud of the work I do.
I’m proud of you, too.

If I did nothing else all day and night
I could keep the house clean and the sock drawers full.
But I do a lot more than that,
so I don't keep the house clean, but we don't mice,
and the sock drawers aren't full,
but when have ever not had socks?
You're right. Thank you.

I need space and time
before I can talk
about my hurt feelings.
There's nothing wrong with that. I'll be here.

You could be nicer to me.
You could listen.
You prickly pain in the ass.

I know.
I’m sorry.
I’ll try.

Loving you, Katie?
It isn’t easy.

I’m not going to lie.

After all,
I love you.
And you
are pretty fucking good too.

it's the valentine's day equivalent
of looking into
a broken mirror


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