Love Was

Love was Kenneth, the only boy in kindergarten who didn't chase or pinch me on the playground. 

Love was the red heart post earrings left on my front porch by the boy I got in trouble for hitting.

Love was playing Cinderella in the back of the pinto station wagon while my mom was in yoga with a little boy for whom being the prince meant showing me his butt.

Love was all of my mother's boyfriends and all of my father's girlfriends and wondering who I was going to grow up to be.

Love was the wrangler I was engaged to who couldn't spell my name, and his dad who called me Cowgirl. 

Love was slow-dancing to Desperado around the campfire and not falling in.

Love was the cutouts of male underwear models my new boyfriend hung in his room because they reminded him of him.

Love was being offered the presidential suite flying down the highway, convertible top down, his wedding ring on. 

Love was holding his gun in the backseat of the car.

Love was taking my hair down out of the barrette as he called me his greatest enemy.

Love was down on my knees in the broken glass of the alley.

Love was locking everyone else out and locking ourselves in. 

Love was naming a star from the International Star Registry after me and giving me the framed certificate. Even if it's fake. I don't care if it's fake. 

Love was knowing who I was going to marry while losing at Trivial Pursuit on our very first date, right after dinner.

Love was trying and trying and trying and trying 1,000 times again.

Love was discovering through a series of days unfolding and birth and blood and my heart broken open that boys, too, are human.