To Viv

I only dated Viv for about six months, and it was one of my stranger relationships: we met at a trains-trans meet-up when I visited Boston over winter break in December 2017, and she ghosted everyone she knew (including me) in June 2018. I wrote this poem for her just before she disappeared, so I never got the chance to show it to her.

“To Viv”
June 2018, in Catonsville, Maryland

Sometimes, I think my love for you owes an apology:
I fear I’m causing you pain when I try to comfort you.
I worry I’ll never understand you well enough to know I’m not.
I know I overstep so often, and it scares me.

But I know what I can’t see, you do your best to guide me through.
And, despite my fears, I know you don’t always want to be safe
– that I have no right to try to keep you so –
and that I need to always listen first, and ask before I act.

I only hope I can be good enough, can continue to earn your trust.
I promise you the only thing I can: my honest efforts
to do my best to love you, and to be beside you,
on your own terms.