The venom that dripped from her lips
was that which you wouldn't expect from such an unassuming girl,
but she spit gasoline and her tongue had the treacherous tell-tale taste of sulfur and flint.
There was no way of mistaking that fire that coursed through her veins
and caused her pulse to whiplash anyone who tried to prove her wrong.
She hated condescension, and arrogance, and the smell of her hair after a shower,
but lived recklessly for sunsets
and stargazing and
sleeping with the window open,
just in case her heart decided to go skinny-dipping with the man on the moon.
She was all wrong for me,
and even worse for herself,
but I've always been attracted to fire,
and this girl was a wildfire with a death wish and a bucket list
that included, "Fuck the president behind a 7-11",
and "Arm-wrestle Jesus".
She was what my momma called "the wrong side of the tracks",
and my preacher called "the devil in hiding",
but she never liked church much anyways,
and I don't think it really suited her.
She would stick her gum under the pews,
and her tongue out at the stained glass that called themselves saints,
and scribble swearwords in the hymn books, just to see the old ladies faint.
This girl was going to make me unravel at my seams,
so I pulled that first thread loose,
just so that she have something to grab onto.
I don't think she's ever had something to hold on to.
So I offer her my hand, and she laughs straight in my face,
"Falling in love means you have to hit face-first.
How do you expect me to do that if you're wanting to hold my hand all the goddamn time?"
So I promise to be her bandaids,
and she tells me that's god damn cheesy,
and she'd rather have the scabs to prove she's so not immortal,
and far from perfect,
because perfect is a dirty word, and someday, she'd like to learn to stop swearing,
so that her someday daughter will know practice makes perfect,
and perfect makes plastic,
and plastic bends and gives itself away - so she never wants to practice,
she just wants to throw herself into life,
and tell him to catch her, and teach her, and touch her, and love her like she loves him.
Because all that fight,
and all that fire inside her steam-engine heart
is just a facade for someone who desperately wants to be loved like life,
like a memory that will never ever be forgotten,
because she knows what that feels like to be forgotten.
And all she wants is someone careful enough to preserve this memory,
like a butterfly pinned to cork,
or a snowflake pressed between glass.
She's that breakable,
but she'd never let you know it.
And she'd fight anyone who said different.
Except for me,
when I whisper that I know she's fragile, and very precariously patched up,
and that I'll always be her punching bag,
and never let her fall any further than into love and outstretched arms.