regifting poem (#creativesprint no. 16)

My favorite gifts are the ones you don’t even know you’ve given me

the smile when you see me walk into the room
the final look you give on your way out like you’re taking one last sip before you leave

the pause after you ask how I’m doing because you really want to hear the answer

how you always ask where and when I’m going to be
and then remember my schedule
not because there’s something to prove but because it must mean something to you to know where I am in the world at any given time on any given day

the air you’ve breathed into my second wind
our connection that doesn’t need to be explained
and feelings only poetry can explain
the way you look at me before you touch me as if you are saying thank you to God for giving me to you
the care I feel in your hands

the apology you don’t have to give when you call 10 minutes later than you planned and I am not complaining, just happy to hear your voice

that I believe what’s actually best for me has crossed your mind

the deeper dimension of time we experience together – not just existing on the surface but also penetrating those more intimate layers of each other’s presence – that makes 15 minutes feel like an hour and a couple of hours feel like a day

the way you like me just the way I am and don’t want me to act or think differently or look at me like there are things you wish you could change

the things you hear between the lines that I can’t figure out how to say
the way you read every word as if it really mattered
that you understand some things just need to be allowed to exist and evolve without scrutiny
the sincerity with which you strive to be a “better person” because you think others, including me, deserve your best
that you perceive my value with such certainty you don’t need society to tell you how much I’m worth

how when even my enthusiasm for you seems perplexing, you don’t try to take it away from me

that I look forward to tomorrow because you will be part of that day
i will see your eyes when i close mine
feel the contour of your shoulders underneath my hand even if you aren’t there
my ears will still be smiling in the vibration of your laugh

that you don’t seem to mind that I keep writing
to you
for you
because you have inspired me
even though it must be a little terrifying
to see yourself through the bruised prism of someone else’s heart
like a fun house mirror

these gifts you’ve given are shaping me
the fibers of your constancy
your discipline
your conviction
and compassion
cannot be untangled
they are part of who I am now.

april 2105
alicia grega