It was the sixteen-year-old, text conversations under the covers, walk you to your locker in the morning, miss you when I ain’t with you kinda love that got your mama’s eyes rolling but her lips smiling cause “y’all some damn fools but I can recognize what’s real.” The lemme hold your hand while we walk down these hallways so these thirst traps remember that I been about you and I’m still about you kinda love. The you and I and our castle in the sky and on God if you and me made the holy trinity, I wouldn’t be surprised cause this the kinda love that makes

one plus

one

equal

infinity doesn’t seem so scary when it’s just time and space and maybe a little bit of hope that this distance isn’t all that bad in the grand scheme of things. You remember that day when I said I wanted space and you drove to my house and told me I wasn’t specific enough about the exact number of inches I wanted between you and me and isn’t my favorite number zero anyways. But now I’m nineteen and that space is the greatest distance I have ever known but like

you ever love someone so much you convince yourself Heaven exists just to know he’s happy without you? And I am happy too. I am. It’s just late at night when I get home from school and it feels like being happy ain’t like being loved, and being loved ain’t like being touched, and I’m not saying which is my favorite, I’m just saying that of the three I’m missing two

years minus 44 days and 23 hours since I tore apart this earth looking for anything that smelled like your cologne and sometimes I find traces of it in my hair but your mama says that’s wishful thinking and I’m inclined to agree. But now the holy trinity minus you is just me and twice the emptiness and don’t be sad but I’ve settled into lonely and poetry. The last time we talked we were seventeen and I told you I’d be a writer because writers make magic from broken spines and dust, but now I am a mathematician and half a diploma later I have learned that one plus one, minus one is just one, but one is good enough being just one and no matter what else happens in this life I will be glad that I am one and that you were

the one

— meaning “whole”