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  • Tyla McDuff

A Love Letter


here are my love letters written for each passer-by I have known

most are written swiftly on the back of whatever receipt, sticky note, or paper napkin I could find

these rushed words are for those most important

a contradiction, yes, but I already spill my heart out for them each day


then there are those I carefully compile in a dark room with the right playlist

they are the secret, quiet ones I don't much mention, except for now

here is the love letter for my old best friends, I tell them to grow and how to do it

with water and sunlight and open air, Tasmania maybe, or Iceland


the scrawlings for each ex-boyfriend sit crammed in a corner

they scream apologies and hurt and humbleness, they whisper thank you for kissing me even when I made a mistake

and there were a lot

past tense love letters to my ex boyfriends are mean, I think

I tell them I am happy and that's why I could never send them


next are the pages filled with words that made no sense if I ever said them aloud

in these I confess my complete adoration for almost a complete stranger

a friend of a friend, a girl I met while drunk in the bathroom of a barely-lit club, a man who held the lift door open for me, a boy who smiled at me on a train

I am infatuated with the idea of who they are, because they never got the chance to show me


if you could ever get your hand of one of these letters you would call me naïve

sometimes I do too, but sometimes when I read them I am relieved

that even if I never get to say the words to old best friends, ex-boyfriends or that stranger

I was still capable of love at all



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©2020 by Tyla McDuff