You must think I have forgotten that morning when I undid my shirt buttons one by one, pressing myself closer to you until the heat of my body woke you from your sleep. Wherever you are in the distance of my past and the vastness of your imagination, you must think I was either asleep too or else I have long forgotten.

But I still feel your hands, calloused from years of work in the field - you took pride in never wearing gloves - and how they cupped my breasts fleetingly, hesitantly, just that once. I have never been closer to you.

I hid behind the obvious, my pride, your fears, the distance you put between us by going. I told you I loved you. But I never knew if you heard.

I miss you now with a cold fire that burns as painful and as bright as the touch of your skin against mine in that one fleeting moment of that faraway dawn hour. The soft down of you hair, baby smelling baby hair on a rugged powerful man, a shy smile that always surprised me from under the sharp nose and the hooded eyes. The rasping tenderness of your voice and your long loving letters that made me hope as you yourself would never let me hope.

And what you said to me, what you told me once so long ago that no one but me remembers - "you are like a beautiful house full of wonderful treasure. Every man who walks through the rooms carries off a piece of treasure with him, but even if the house is emptied the treasure will not have been lost, for the real magic is in the walls."

I don't think that you'll ever understand how hard it was for me to write that letter, how many times I tried, in the dark of your basement, to tell you through your hair, with my head buried in your shoulder. How many barriers of fear and mistrust of the human race in general had to be overcome for me to even begin to think those words.

I don't know if you even believe me, then or now. I mean, I was young ... hell, we both were. I'm pretty sure that I didn't even know if I loved you, but that those words were as close as I could come to this enveloping, frightening, throughly new experience.

Three years later, I know that I meant every word, more than even I knew. I know that you were my first love, and (so far) my only one.

I know that I'll always wonder if you meant what you said, if you really did love me or if you were so afraid of hurting me that you didn't know what else to say.

And, while I cannot get beyond those doubts, I want to tell you to never doubt the sincerity with which I spoke those words.

I wish that I could tell you this, instead of writing it into a goddamn database. I wish that you could hear these words without freaking out, but instead, I will subject many of the unknown on the Internet to read words that I never wanted anyone but you to hear.

I want you to know.

That long after we said goodnight,
well past the time I prayed you were sleeping peacefully,
as the night became quiet,
I sat here thinking
of you.

I couldn't now reproduce my thought train in words
any more than I could mold the original stones
from the sands of the shore.

But I know what I waited for. For that last silly "goodnight", in a long chain of "no, really...bed, now" 's.

I wanted yet another reach from you, proving that it is real.

Then, looking at the chain of us touching across the distance;

I knew I was wrong in what I said, that more time to think of context would have seen me better; that it would not be a lie.

to say I love you as well.

I just wanted you to know.

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