A public reclamation of love
By
    Photo from Pixabay / Licensed under Creative Commons
    Photo from Pixabay / Licensed under Creative Commons

    this morning, I fell in love with my barista.

    they had freckles and the corner of their eyes crinkled when they smiled and when I told them my name was Chase, they said, "like the bank?"

    I thought, "yes, maybe you'd like to open a shared account with me there?"


    last week, I fell in love with the girl in line in front of me at the dining hall.

    she handed me a plate and I thought I might return the favor by handing her a wedding ring.


    yesterday, I fell in love with a boy in my 2 p.m. lecture.

    he sat next to me and let me borrow a pen, and I thought he seemed nice, and that it would be just as nice to grow old with him.


    today, I will fall in love with the driver who stops to let me jaywalk in peace and safety.


    tomorrow, I will blow kisses to the birds that chirp in weather that turns my face to ice.


    next week, I will drop to one knee in the middle of the new Evanston Target and tell you that you are a wonder, and no one else has your crooked smile or your body-shaking laugh or the creases by the corners of your mouth,


    and I will ask to spend the rest of my life learning the curve of your nose.


    you will laugh and tell me to get up

    you will tell me I am being dramatic

    tell me I am making a scene

    call me a Hallmark card


    I will tell you I am done policing my use of the word "love”

    I am tired of keeping that word so close to my chest, bound tight to my heart, constricting every beat

    I refuse to hold it any longer


    and maybe you are right

    maybe I am being dramatic

    and I know I am making a scene

    but I also know that I am in love with something

    and you are a part of it

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    Chase Stokes, Oct. 3, 2017