4

I’d like to be loved now

At nineteen, perilously close to twenty

but still nineteen, hopeful nineteen

filled with doubts and fears plenty

Still not done with being eight

Hunting for flowers and chasing butterflies

Lazing around and perpetually late

I’d like to be loved now

At nineteen, soft and lovely nineteen

With skin still smooth and hair still wild

Eyes shiny with excitement at sights not yet seen

Still fearless, still vulnerable, still simple

Never tired of the day, never afraid of the night

Nails painted red, but a knee still with a dimple

I’d like to be loved now

Sitting in the sun for hours and soaking it all up

Enjoying the warmth without having to rush someplace

Now would be nice, over hot, sweet tea in a cracked cup

When your text at 3 a.m can make me smile

Cupcakes and shared chocolate and tickle fights

Still acceptable and not yet juvenile

When my cheeks are still able to blush

Butterflies in my stomach and tingles on my skin

At your every glance, at your every touch

I’d like to be loved now

Now, before others decide when

Now, before they decide who and why

Single-mindedly conjuring up lists of suitable men

Now, when our days aren’t dictated by work and meetings

Heads filled with worries and shoulders drooping with exhaustion

But now, when my face still lights up with just your morning greeting

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