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That’s what he calls me
on the phone
on his messages
on the street
not only with his words
but also with his eyes
with his touch
as if he were beholding
nature’s greatest masterpiece
as if he were caressing
something
breathtakingly exquisite
it almost hurts

I told him,
I’m twenty-six.
I have no more hang-ups.
I know I’m smart.
Talented.
Strong.
Full of life.
I’m done envying the pretty girls
done wondering why
I’m not one of them

but he calls me that name
every single day
like he means it
and it started becoming instinct
for me to turn and look
when somebody says
that word out loud
as if they were calling me

thank you
for reintroducing me
to me.

.