An Obvious Salute

Fuck butterflies. My stomach was a tube, Augustus shot up and down, only in your presence. Tippy toeing across the hardwood floor, comfort and adrenaline were always baked together making one hell of a treat to eat. I've excluded others and secluded myself from the rest. No other cooperation has ever felt as fulfilling, even when we'd share messy sentences through one, a guarded mouth and the other, a set of expressive eyes. I'd tried my hand at co-existing with men I'd eventually find myself itchy around. Itchy enough to oust myself like a coward. But even when you became my nemesis, someone I battled playfully everyday after, I never wanted to leave your side. The same conversation leaks it's way through the phone in order to disturb what I always thought could be smooth, separate waters, if only I could keep the subject at bay. It was real but only in retrospect. I was too busy trying to convince myself that my very existence wasn't a tricky dream. It felt real when I washed your dishes... twice. It felt real when you defended me in front of a very hairy past. It felt real when you'd meow. It felt real exploring the universe, translation, dragging my legs through the bars and alleys of Athens. It felt real when you drove me in my warm, cozy car. It felt real when you were big spoon. It felt real when you asked me to be nice to you. You are honest, beautiful, a victim, an archer, hilarious, a catalyst for creativity, and Snow White's Queen. Simultaneously my first, my best friend, and my daughter. My wish is that someone will cherish and respect you and you can do the same for them. I'm saddened that the next will not be you but I am so grateful that you'll be there to see me through the rest. Fuck butterflies, I'll take a tube in my stomach every time after and seek nothing less.

-Jessica Link

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