to love without question

middle_distance

to love without question
Nokyoung Xayasane

I was 26 years old
and my heart was
broken.

I visited Toronto
and took the subway
for the first time.
I met people
whose eyes
were filled with wonder,
whose minds
explored and questioned
and yearned to know,
to understand,
to educate,
to comfort.
And I thought, One day
I will live here
in this city.

Years later, I met you
and we moved here
to this city,
and we were happy.
I wanted
to keep writing,
and you wanted
to keep learning.

I took the metro again
as if I were a child
on a merry-go-round.

When we moved here,
it was wintertime,
and it was bitterly cold out.
One night, the ice hung
heavy on the eaves,
the roads were slick
and icicles decorated the trees
like early Christmas ornaments.
The power had gone out,
and we sat in the dark.
We lit candles and waited
and waited
and waited.
But nothing
for a very long time.
We decided to go to a friend’s house.
She still had some light.
She fed us vegan pad thai
and we were happy.

Some days,
when I was feeling blue
about work,
not finding work
or working too hard
at a few dead-end jobs,
you took me to the park.
We would sit under the trees,
or we threw a Frisbee
back and forth,
and I loved you
without question,
so sure of it all
at the time.

Sometimes,
we would fall asleep
on the couch
with our cat on top of us.
The weekends were lazy
and filled with sushi dates
and pizza parties,
friends would come by at night,
and we would talk
and we could laugh,
and I would know
what it was like
to love someone
without question.
I knew what it was like
to love someone without
pride or hesitation.

At night, I would feel
your body against mine,
and I would fall
asleep this way,
your breathing beside me,
calm and long,
and I would know
what it was like
to be loved
without question.

Then one day,
you were gone,
and those things were gone,
those things we shared,
they were gone from me.
I know the park is still there,
the Frisbee is around here
somewhere,
and our cat still sits at my window,
but you,
you’re not here
and you won’t be.

Sometimes,
I will speak your name aloud
before bedtime.
I will wish you a goodnight
wherever you are.
Sometimes,
I will dream about you
and you will hold me again,
and we are back
in our old apartment.
You are adjusting
your shirt in the mirror,
and I am sitting
at my vanity doing my makeup.

We are so happy
and we are loving each other
without question.

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