You sit next to me on the train
close enough to look like friends
far enough to not get strange looks and you
lean over to whisper in my ear
you look so nice today.
I hiss back
we can’t afford your blasphemy.
You just laugh.
You have always been less careful than I.
At a coffee shop when we’re sat
across the table from each other
our hands reach for sugar and yours
lingers just a little too long next to mine
and I want to smack the smile off of your face
you don’t know what you are risking here this
is your first time out in the open you
have never known what it is to be hated for your love.
Being with you is knowing that any moment
could be our last and you
are not careful enough with that knowledge.
you hold hands with reckless abandon
kiss without care while I
make sure to check over our shoulders I
am starting to resent being the bodyguard for
everything we are.
At home when we are
finally alone you smile and press
kisses into my collarbone and you whisper
I love you
and I whisper
don’t say things like that.
and I wonder when you will stop
finding novelty in our hiding place.
Amanda Brauchler is a literature student from New York who aspires to use poetry as a way of finding meaning in the world and as a way of connecting with others and trying to make sense of the odd and beautiful thing called the human condition.