Sunlight still streaked my hair when I first spoke of love as if I knew what it was and how warm it felt. Diverging roads wound up towards my cheeks when I bared my soul and emptied my sorrows from my pockets and first thought “this must be how love is”. So many times, I have been wrong. I let my worries out in whispers and spun stories in shadowy corners to strangers who wanted a way in. By then, all ends scratched and clawed at my neck and out of fear and frustration, all I knew to give was a way out. I was empty, begging to be filled and then drowning under the weight of worrying for others when the opportunities passed. I would knock on a window late at night out of loneliness and run away before it opened, before I would be obliged to climb in and stay. I would promise that somewhere inside of me, a friend existed, but I would disappear within myself before I could prove my worth to anyone. I have often caught myself twisting memories around my fingers. When I do, I think of how I first learned to calm myself by concentrating on tightly wound curls that stained fingertips purple. And I had sat there, curling, long enough that I somehow saw the beauty of dark wooden door frames set against green walls and a paler green carpet and it is now what I remember best of trying to love someone and failing, and the way tears soaked into the carpet and left no traces, and how both whispering and pleading “I love you” felt so unwelcome as it came. And the sound of desperation falling on deaf ears, I have learned, is not an echo or the sound of the door unlocking, it is silence. And silence is what has followed since, and perhaps for too long, but these thoughts are ones I am still not fond of, so I curl and tuck them behind my ear where they won’t bother me until I am ready. And I will allow weeks to pass and my fringe to grow too long until all I see is a streetlight filtering in through blinds of a dark room. I had once shared it with a warm shadow, who laughed and whispered the funniest jokes and I recall the way my elbow shook so hard that night because expectations were still something I couldn’t handle. Some nights, these thoughts get to be too much and so I arm myself with scissors made for children’s arts and crafts and let in as much light as I can. Simple solutions are always regrettable the following day but I have learned to live with the consequences as they are always a week away from sitting right. For so long, I’d spoken as though I breathed Love, as though it pulsed through me. I spoke of it as if there was nothing else I knew well and yet I did not know love. I knew how it felt to love another within reason but I had never loved when I thought it was unreasonable. I knew how to consume myself with love but was never consumed by it. I did not breathe or feel it the way I have begun to in these past two years and I did not know how it swells and fills you always, how it is constantly expanding or how it slowly, but eventually, encompasses all that matters. Until recently, I knew nothing of love and since, I’ve spoken of nothing.