You gave me Garamond, curry powder in baby jars and the adoption papers of a manatee in Florida.
You gave me thirteen new sexual positions—only two of which were in frequent rotation—and wildflowers stolen from our neighbor’s backyard.
You gave me poison ivy; I almost gave you HPV.
You taught me how to kiss with my eyes open, how to eat a mango without utensils, and the meaning behind several constellations.
You taught me Spanish; I taught you how it feels to be left.
You gave me chocolate bars wrapped in poems; I gave you cabbage soup.
You gave me wild strawberries, homemade blackberry jam and your father’s socks.
You gave me dreadlocks, butterflies in the pit of my stomach, a hickey below my hip, and taught me how to keep myself hairy.
You healed my allergies; I gave you two new ones.
You gave me Gibran and Hafiz; I gave you Murakami and Bukowski.
You taught me how to knit, how to pronounce, how to soar.
You taught me how to survive bed bugs and depleted bank accounts.
You gave me wisdom; I gave you expired moonpies and a half-eaten poem.
You gave me red wine in ceramic mugs on late evening walks with mountains crawling against sky.
I gave you 47 ¾ lies mixed with 17 apologies and an unclaimed felony. You gave me forgiveness.
Read more Aimee Herman in the full-length collection, meant to wake up feeling