By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:
I loved you before you kissed me,
Wait- maybe I have that backwards.
I loved you after you kissed me.
It felt like a glimpse of the rest of our lives.
And yet I wish you could take it back.
The little kisses all over my face,
The words, oh the words.
They are seared into my head and it hurts.
You fought this attraction with everything you had.
Each time we touched, you flinched
Like contact with me hurt.
Each time we didn’t talk,
You became frenzied like an addict.
I hate you. I love you.
I hate how each time we touch you run
I love how you touch me.
We did this all backwards,
Falling in love and being together
Each day we fell a little more,
And yet knew nothing about each other.
We’re strangers who feel too much.
I don’t know if you like to watch movies
Or what songs you like.
You don’t know that I like to text all day
And come home to cuddle in your arms.
Being with me makes you scared
And that’s just unfair.
We got this all backwards
We should have met at a bar
Got drunk and intensely honest
I should have told you I was heartbroken
Or maybe I would have told you to stay away,
Before I gave you my already broken heart.
I can’t write a poem to make this disappear
What I feel is more than words on paper
If I could, I would rewrite this mess
Where I love you but you’re scared
And so you scar me.
I’ll rewrite this whole thing
And there’ll be so much love,
You won’t be able to overthink it.