Before you leave I want to stain my skin with your scent and dip my frame in your smell and staple the edges of your shadow to my scars. I want to carry a layer of you wherever I go so the outline of your ghost will lay beside me in an empty bed, tracing my face with whispers of your fingertips.
Before you leave I want to waste a day with you under twisted covers and over stained sheets. I want to map the route your tongue takes down my spine and kiss the freckles on your shoulders until they tattoo my lips. I want to lay underneath your weight and desire and need, until your imprint is punched in a mattress I can revisit every night.
Before you leave I want to feel the daggers of disagreement and stings of frustration and the slice of every word that carries both. I want to battle until my voice falls on your reserve and clash viewpoints until the wreckage covers the living room floor so that I may trap the memory of having someone who cared enough to argue.
Before you leave I want to stay attached to a couch and glued to a TV, growing a gaming controller as an extra appendage. I want to revisit my youth with every extra life and relive simplicity with every hidden level and taste the nostalgia that colors your complexion. I want to be a child with you, if only to remember when time travel was possible.
Before you leave I want to sink into darkness with lifelines of melodies and raft boats made of rifts. I want to breathe in lyrics that defined our beginning and highlighted our middle and will allow us to prolong our end. With my head on your chest and your hands reading my body’s braille we’ll stop time with music, existing in a history only song defines.
Before you leave I want to dance with excess and take shots of addiction and flirt with obsession. I want to feel your concern hold my hair or your compassion wipe away lingering mascara or your sympathy serve me a glass of water. I want too much whiskey and too many hangovers and too many late nights so that I can drink them in with you, knowing I’ll never have too much of you again.
Before you leave I want to make your bed and fold a wayward shirt and leave pieces of me in an abandoned note. I want to cook a meal I’ll likely ruin so that your laughter will vibrate the walls and your surprise will brand my mind and the memory of sharing kindness with someone can be locked behind my ribs, behind the corner of my heart you live in.
But I can’t. I can’t fall in love with you before you leave.
Danielle is a twentysomething born and raised in Eagle River, Alaska, currently residing in Seattle, Washington. She enjoys sports, whiskey, and shenanigans of all shapes and sizes. As a freelance writer she’s been published in The Seattle Times, Hush Magazine, Notes Magazine, among others. Follow her @DCampoamor and/or email her at email@example.com.