lately i have been so much in love that i admit i’ve forgotten how to feel anything else.

there is a brochure in my mom’s filing cabinet, in the drawer labeled “old goods.” it is titled “tamuning elementary: rising stars,” and your name falls under the leftmost column. mine falls under the middle. 5th grade, it says, you are 5th grade, while i am 4th grade, and i am ashamed of how much i don’t remember. i don’t know if we got this award after the whole coconut tree incident and i don’t know what i was doing when they called your name. was i biting my nails? was i talking to my classmate about pokemon? was i watching you walk on stage? and what were you doing when i received mine? did you look twice? did you look at all?

there is a warmness between my legs, it’s not wet at all, it’s really just right. in 7th grade my mom said, “mahal ko, make sure that the boy who deflowers you is one who loves you.” in 7th grade i said, “ma, i know.” i am 21 now and i can say with all my heart that he loves me more than i can see, more than i can feel, more than i can say. there are thousands of words i have of his stored deep within my heart and still they do not suffice.

whenever i take deep breaths i feel pain between my shoulder blades and behind my ribcage. my mom says, “mahal, maybe you should go see a doctor. how long has this been going on?” i say, “ma, it’s been 12 years. i think my heart has grown too big for my chest.” funny enough, the pain does not make me want to run away. i so easily embrace it. if this is what loving you feels like then by all means i want it more than i can bear.