Friend Is A Four Letter Word

(For Mashed Poetics –
Band: Cake
Album: Fashion Nugget
Song assignment: Friend Is A Four Letter Word)

Not everything gets a name.
Not everything that collects at our side throughout our days like rolling tumbleweed
gets to follow us home, gets a place on our shelf, gets to lie on the pillow next to us.

There is no one way to love me.
If you think there is, you’re missing the point.

When I miss the last stair, there’s your catch my waist with your free hand love,
your I watch out for you love.
When my boss tells me not to come in on Monday, there’s your guest linen, crash on my couch, pay me back when you can love.
When I’m a heaving mess on the kitchen floor, there’s your I brought the 2nd cheapest merlot they had, let’s burn this witchy sage I found at the dollar store and every picture you have of the cheating bastard love.

There is no one way for me to love you.
If I thought there was I would be missing the point.

When you make it to 2 o’clock on Monday before feeling like the week is going to swallow you up, there’s my here’s a never-ending list of cuddling kitten Youtube clips love.
When you meet someone who makes you smile bigger than I ever could, there’s my do you want help looking for a first date outfit? love.
When you need help moving, when you’re home sick with something resembling the swine flu, when you’re heartbroken when your lover stops calling you, there’s my I will sign up first on the list to help you through this and no I don’t expect this to be anything other than kindness love.
And not every kind gets a name.

And then there’s the hazy kind of love. The kind you wake up the next day remembering that you spilled it out into a voicemail somewhere in the city in a slurred confession. The kind that you think only happens in rom-coms; I’m putting on my tights in the dressing room before the show when you introduce me to your boyfriend, and I blame the fact I nearly fell over on my lack of balance instead of the fact he has the bluest eyes and I don’t know how to stand when he’s around. The hazy kind of love where you’ve known me since the third grade but have wondered since the seventh what my palms would feel like to hold you in place for a slow kiss.

Love doesn’t get one box. We folded it up once and cut the corners out, spread it apart and strung it across the ceiling like paper snowflakes. It looks different when I say than when you see it. It sounds different when I hear it than when you feel it. It’s a fountain I throw pennies into that you say has nothing to do with luck. It’s your cup of coffee spilling over that wouldn’t be enough for me. Love stopped being a word before we learned to speak, it dozes in our joints, waiting to move around the world with us, being and doing and giving.

Friend is a four letter word.
And not everything gets a name.

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