Featured image: Moss rose, confession of love, from the George Arents Collection
If I love you, I will want to solve problems with you.
Info dump and research for you,
share every story I know about it,
so that you might not feel alone and maybe
And if it’s a secret, I will never tell.
You will be a “I know a friend who…” story
to make the world less lonely.
And I will think about it again tomorrow
to make sure I didn’t miss any thoughts
and text you.
And think about it again in a week
in the shower when my mind is quiet.
I might have sounded bossy, but
I wanted to make sure you had thought of that.
If I love you, I want to organize your house.
the expired food,
the extra phone books,
the junk drawer,
your jar of pens
I will make sure every one works
so when you need a pen, you don’t grab one that doesn’t work
and feel frustrated.
I want it to be nice and smooth.
And make it pretty.
I might think about flowers
and imagine a new wall color.
I keep straightening the throw blanket
so it is flat and soft and ready.
And move your favorite mug
to the front of the cupboard
You told me it was your favorite at Christmas five years ago,
If I love you, I will remember for you.
where you put your winter gloves,
your favorite food
things you’ve tried,
places you’ve been.
When you were sad or happy,
but also every time you were mad at me.
If I love you, I will think of you often.
I saw a hedgehog and thought of you.
A runner went past, how are you doing?
But I won’t text because that’s random,
Unless I can connect it to something…
Jannea Thomason is a soon-to-graduate doctoral student in the English department who recently defended her dissertation on the topic of reproduction and literature.
George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moss rose, confession of love.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/e6954840-c560-012f-dfb7-58d385a7bc34