I Wanted to Tell You that I Loved You

I wanted to tell you that I loved you
So you would let me use your Chapstick
So we could plant a turnip garden
And fight in the Trader Joe’s parking lot
I wanted to tell you that I loved you
So that we could say things are stupid
But do them anyway
And eat Chinese food in my bed
And we would never be lonely
After watching Annie Hall
I wanted to tell you that I loved you
So we could live south of the boulevard
In a multi-million dollar house
But only stay in one room
Because we don’t need so much space.

But if I had told you that I loved you
You might have kissed me all the way to my knee caps
And then taken the next plane to New York
And called me to say you weren’t coming back
I couldn’t tell you that I loved you
Because my fingers were in my mouth
I cried in Annie Hall and never planted a turnip garden
I had to buy some Burt’s Bees
But I never used it
So my lips got swollen and cracked
And my throat got too dry
So I could never tell you that I loved you.

Madeline Cash’s poem is from YOU ARE HERE: The WriteGirl Journey, the 12th anthology published by WriteGirl, an organization serving over 350 teen girls through one-on-one mentoring, creative writing workshops, public readings, and other events to help girls get creative, get through high school, and get to college; the anthology features the work of 161 teen girls and their WriteGirl mentors. WriteGirl was recently honored by First Lady Michelle Obama with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, an initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities and the highest national honor awarded to exemplary after-school and out-of-school time programs from across the country.
*Photo courtesy of A. Rodriguez.
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