I want to tell you that you’re beautiful
Like it means anything
Like your fat and your muscles and your bones
The composition of your skin
The symmetry of your face and limbs
Means something more than
Cells dying and dividing
Fighting viruses
A million tiny creatures swarming
Swimming through your blood
Flooding you with pathogens and antigens
Microscopic enemies and friends that die before their lives begin
Wars waged in silent symphony
A eulogy in constant song
On repeat
A skipping record
7 years long

Like you’re more than a sum of your parts
And I want to take you apart
Not literally like a psychopath
Filleting cartilage into meaty chunks
Wrap you in cellophane and hide your limbs in a trunk
But to dunk myself like a doughnut in you
Soak you up like coffee through me
Slip down your throat to float in the acid rising
Feel myself dissolving into pieces
Fizzing gently
What I mean to say is
I want to tell you that you’re beautiful

Like you’re not just this collection of atoms
Complex geometry but deep down no more
Conceivable than winning the lottery
Or infinity

Like you’re not spinning like clothes in the wash
Every part of you spinning dots inside of spinning dots on top of a big blue spinning dot
In space like
A marble rolling on my tongue
Trying to say I think you’re beautiful

Like you wash in fragrant chemicals
You eat your vegetables
Run to keep fit
Torn ligaments knitting like old women
But the decay slowly ebbs away
At the edges of your bones
Your teeth tombstones for infant kin
A swathe of shedding epidermal skin
Hairs split and chafe your thighs
Lungs contract their oxygen,
You sigh

My eyes flip rods and cones and neurons fire my brain
Pupils dilate
A glottal hit
My tongue trips against my lips
And I want to tell you you are beautiful

Like I don’t mean I cry at night
Like we can fight the scars of time
Like I know what empty words are for
Like the past is just a swinging door
Like we might never die
Like it’s a lie
But I…