I wanted to protect her.
Keeping her smile intact mattered more to me than putting her on my shelf.
It was deeper than the instinct to own a territory,
I wanted to claim her heart.
I knew, that if I safeguarded the bright half moon on her lips,
she would eventually offer her heart.
I also wanted to fall into her abyss,
to know the ins and outs,
unpaved corridors, where a light had never been lit before.
Where storms had passed and darkness only, had been left behind.
I wanted to be showered with the expression of herself, the way she burst open at beauty and sweetness,
I wanted more of her.
But as much as it was about me,
it was, also, about her.
In all of this, I wanted to give to her,
not strip from her.
She let herself be filled with expression
in the palm of my hand,
I felt her pulse.
It was the only way I could tell where her smile was still beating.
There, and on her breath,
when she lay against me, stood in front of me.
On her lips, when I moved in to kiss her
and in her body, when I pulled her into me.
Her pulse, I learned, was everywhere.
It was mine to guard.