How could I voice this in words
without sounding insane?

That I want to know everything,
that I want to know you,
every inch, every mile,
every failing, every scar,
every secret, every smile
you save for me.

It’s better on paper, maybe —
maybe that’s where it’ll stay,
locked away from the daily impulses
and razor-line corruption
of a paper-thin world. We’re
better on paper,
my lover.

This sudden failing of inhibition,
I can’t trust it. Not even
if the sun came through the window
and fell across your face
and lit it up like something
I might not be able to replace.

So tell me love, from afar.
Speak to me without words.
Open this conduit between our hearts
and touch your paper-edge
against mine
across the distance between us.

Notes on “Better on Paper”

Sometimes I feel like love is better on paper. Have you ever felt that way? Real love is messy and not always as rewarding as it sounds in songs or reads in books or looks in movies. Or comes across in poetry, for that matter! A broken heart doesn’t feel poetic — it just hurts. And the arduous process of getting to love in the first place isn’t all sunshine and roses. That’s the basic message of this fourth installment in my “14 Poems of Love” project.

If you’re interested in more info about the project, check out the introduction. You might also notice a reference from the first poem of love, “In the Morning,” in this poem, if you’re sharp!

Photos were sourced from Unsplash, as usual, and designs were created on Canva. These are two great resources I use for a lot of my work, from creating book covers — check out my Metamorphosis cover design — to finding the perfect image for each post.

Read the next poem of love — 14 Poems of Love No. 5 / If I Were the Sea

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