B/W image of man holding woman tight, she is looking at camera looking sad

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “X” – X’s Mean Everything

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

X’s mean everything”
Is what she’d told him,
Little reveals of his love
When he couldn’t be near.
She’d never expected them from him,
But with her, he’d been a lover,
Devoted through and through
And every time he sent them,
They were the simplest thing that somehow
Managed to spread her heart further open,
A radiant flower blooming to reach more of the sun.
She clung to the x’s like his real life kisses
Despite the naysayers
The doubts, the fears
That’s why she’s startled when she sees them
In his sporadic notes now—
These little promises of love that contradict
The chaos he has run them through
The distance he has put between them
The everlasting silence echoing around her
When she reaches out for him and calls his name,
Because he is no longer really there
Not for her.

To read "Y" — You Are, click here.
Young couple man cupping her cheek with light over her face about to kiss

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “V” – Vastness

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Vastness stretches between them
A distance somehow growing larger
With every step they take.
It’s not for lack of love
But for the infinite problems
They are rapidly going to need to face.
She tells him how much she worries now,
Speaks it aloud as they cuddle in her bed,
And her once strong voice sounds meek to her
A breathy, sorrowful thing:
“What if we can’t, my love, what if we won’t, what if…?”
He kisses her cheek before
Lifting up her chin,
Staring at her with love that reaches inside her soul,
Willing her to hear him when
He tells her, “All this worrying is a
Waste of a beautiful mind.”
The words soothe her heart to a calmer, more joyous rhythm,
But when he says again that they’re going to be okay,
She knows there is no certainty in life,
This is becoming more and more clear,
And these words he says are just words,
Things that she treasures
But that he sometimes promises without
Knowing if he actually can.

To read "W" — When He Calls, click here.
Portrait of sensual passionate couple looking at eyes

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “S” – She Believes

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

She believes in words
And promises
In the power of the human heart,
Following dreams and
Making your life everything
You want it to be.
To her, hard is not an absolute.
Hard is breaking patterns, setting yourself free,
Treating those you love with the biggest of love
If you expect them to give it back;
Most minds are fickle, but she isn't—
Not with love
Not with him.
Always, he told her,
Always I will be here, love you, hold you close
But now she asks questions that require real answers,
Not placating, soothing things to give her peace of mind.
That isn’t real.
She wants their spring back,
Their bright, blossoming future,
The moments when everything felt safe, and new,
Warm and alive
Not this mysterious nebula fraught with
Puzzles, omitted truths, and hang ups
For which the best solutions seem so painfully obvious
To her.

To read "T" — Time, click here.
Silhouette of couple holding each other in front of window.

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “R” – Reality

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Reality is settling in
Like a cancer
Winding its way deep,
Seeping into her bones
In a ferocious cold spell to
Threaten an end she isn't ready for.
Over coffee, he tells her
“All the best things are bittersweet”—
Beautiful, wonderful memories that make him feel
Something, anything
But that always carry a twinge of pain.
She doesn’t think so.
She thinks good, beautiful things are worth the effort
If everyone can just be on the same page.
She sips her coffee beside him,
Listening to him speak while he tenderly strokes her thigh,
And she imagines the two of them old, together like this
Talking philosophy and love
Until the end.
She realizes then more fully than she has before
That their love is a beacon,
The sparkling star in her life,
And she’d do anything to keep it bright.

To read "S" — She Believes, click here.
Sexy couple during foreplay, woman with head tilted back.

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “Q” – Quivering

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Quivering, she is quaking
Caught up in the depth of what she feels for him,
In how he can make her entire existence shift
Into a whole new feeling she clutches tight in her grasp.
It’s the dance they’ve settled into,
Shamelessly forgetting every complication
Every catch,
And yet aware of it like a siren
Off in the distance
Warning them so much pain is ahead.
But she loves him
Good god how she loves him,
Such a powerful gift, her love,
Which she knows he can feel when he comes to her,
When he cocoons her in his arms and kisses her
Like she can make everything okay.
She is his escape
And the two of them talk and whisper,
Settling into their familiar hold,
Their bodies coming together
As quickly and easily as their
Foolish and blind
Open hearts.

To read "R" — Reality, click here.
B/W shadowed image of couple close on the bed looking out the window

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “P” – Perfect

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Perfect is the day he celebrates with her
Both of them silent over the abyss looming ahead
Instead tangled up,
Kissing, fucking, smiling,
Laughing, laughing, oh, how they can laugh together.
He toasts her for her win
Spoils her with affectionate kisses and cheers
And after another round that leaves them panting,
His naked skin on hers is the best prize of all,
His fingers laced with hers the one thing she truly wants.
But he offers dinner
Her favorite dinner
And she’s soaring all over again.
He says he does it because she appreciates it, which she does
Following him through the store,
Nearly skipping as he talks about
Sauces, seasonings, and specialty ingredients
And it battles the ache that’s started to weigh down her heart.
When they return, she kisses the back of his neck and says,
“I love when you cook for me.”
He abandons the groceries covering the counters for a moment,
Showering her in love while she continues,
“I want it often. All the time.”
He kisses her cheek and thumbs her chin
To make her heart pick up speed, because it blossoms
At his new, perfect promise:
“Then you shall have it.”

To read "Q" — Quivering, click here.
Romantic couple embracing, touching and kissing with passion on a ledge dressed up and in b/w

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “O” – Out They Go

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Out they go, a night to escape
Playing on the town
Like their lives, they
Depend on every second of this evening.
They laugh over dinner,
Drive with the stereo loud,
The moon roof open as they
Point at the stars
Like old times
Before he grabs her hand and takes her dancing,
Both of them close, giggling
Grinding
And intoxicated,
Running from the problem,
The catch in what they share,
Spinning around and around on the dance floor
With hands creeping along each other’s sides.
“I love you so much,” she says.
“And I love you, too.”
He means it, this she knows
And she will dance here with him
Pressed tight
Tighter
As close as they can be
For as long as it takes to forget
For now.

To read "P" — Perfect, click here.
B/w image of passionate couple making love in bed

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “N” – Need

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Need is filling her up—
The need to be with him, to go there,
To grasp this
In the way they both whisper about
But can’t quite reach;
Not as it is.
It stirs up a longing in her so heavy
She is anxious about the end, the complications
Whether it’s going to work.
He sees this and strokes her neck, cuddles her closer
Gently blows in her ear.
“Why are you such a pessimist?”
She's never been that, never in her life
And when she meets his eyes, he nods.
“You are. With us, you are.”
She doesn’t want to be,
She wants it to be everything
This love between them,
But she can't quite figure out how to fit the pieces of
This puzzle
Together.
When he distracts her with kisses trailed up the side of her neck
He says, “Do this with me. Be here with me.”
So she decides to listen, to feel him,
To get further lost in this forest
Despite its looming density.

To read "O" — Out They Go, click here.
Image in B/W of couple in embrace, man behind woman, grazing her back with their eyes closed

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “M” – Mapping Her Heart

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Mapping her heart
Is his skill, because he knows her through
Or so he claims.
Sometimes, he says he gets the depth of her love,
But she is reminded he can’t possibly know
How deep this well runs within her;
It’s been brewing, brimming,
Swirling up from its confinement
Far longer in her than he’s admitted the same to himself.
But she sees it in the simple things he does for her—
The way he cooks her dinner, brings her little gifts, helps her around her house
Or calls her for the tenth time on the same day,
Just to say hello.
It’s as if he doesn’t realize how much it means to her, to them
As if he doesn’t see how closely they’ve entwined themselves together
Despite the obviousness of it pumping their hearts full of rich, sweet joy.
One night, as he cooks, she says to him
“What do you think it would be like if we were normal?”
He stirs again; peeks at her
“What do you mean?”
“I mean if it were always. Every night. Not a day off, or a getaway.”
He ponders a moment, stirs,
Looks at her like he gets it and says,
“I think it would be the same. Don’t you?”
She thinks so
But she doesn't think he grasped what she truly meant—
And tonight she isn’t ready to explain it.

To read "N" — Need, click here.
Couple lounging in bed in underwear and lingerie grazing hands

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “L” – Lucky

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Lucky is how she feels with him
Whenever they banter, or even when they spat
Which is rare.
Seeing him breathes new life
Into what she thought this living thing was about,
What she'd convinced herself was the meaning of it all
“Can I tell you a secret?” she asks him
And as they lay there, she confesses that all this time
Before they knew
Before they shared
She’d been spinning tale after tale
Of what she thought it would be like,
What their love could taste like
Even though she probably wasn’t supposed to.
“I guess I could have known for a while,
If I’d just paid attention,” he says.
Yes, if he’d just paid attention
Like he does now, stroking her cheek,
Slipping up beside her again
And making her feel like the luckiest woman alive.

To read "M" — Mapping Her Heart, click here.