Creative Writing Local

Poetry: The Ways We Say I Love You

By Mandy Moe Pwint Tu

He says I love you,

like a sky full of stars,

each word a constellation on its own.

He says I love you like a supernova,

each utterance holding more meaning than the last;

and I say I love you 

like a meteor shower,

believing that perhaps the last comet

will be the brightest,

like a streak of light from a celestial rock

carving craters in my heart.

I say I love you

like a rainfall,

he says it back

till we’re both standing in the downpour,

splashing about in puddles

and revelling in the thunder

and the lightning of I love you,

I love you, I–love you.

I get caught in the headlights,

his voice brings me back to the present,

he says I love you like cracks in time,

like stolen moments, like forever.

And the stagelights dim,

and we’re still saying those three words

over and over again, filling the air between us,

I love you, I love you, I love you.

His lips taste of wilting dreams,

and it seems as if we are throwing the words

at each other, wondering what we’ll find ourselves with

when the night ends.

I wonder if we’ll run out of I love you’s,

and then I wonder if the reason

for us spilling out this phrase

like water from an overturned vase,

worn and overused by the millions

of lovers come before us, I wonder

if we’re making up for lost time.

Or making up for time scheduled to be lost.

So he says I love you

like sifting sands,

like falling sands

in an hourglass with our names on it.

I say I love you

like a prayer–

like please don’t let this end.

like please,

let’s never run out.