arina kharlamova – for want of exhaustion

Author and poem title: arina kharlamova – for want of exhaustion Poem: I want to love you like an all-weekend Netflix binge, not just on Thursdays at 8. I want to love you like a vat of my favourite flowers sitting on my windowsill in Moscow in January; like thank you for existing with me in the winter  when so few do. I want to love you like the playground you broke your knee on; like history, and healing, and knowing the only promise I can give you is gravity (but I will pull you up, every time and sit by your bedside and read you Russian poets that you couldn’t understand even if you were sober.) I want to love you like surprise tickets to your favourite artist, and spending months uprooting old video games you played as a kid, and tasting the poetry from your people’s history on your tongue so you can translate it on my skin. I want to love you as open as a raw wound. I want to love you as clean as your first apartment. I want to love you like “let’s never get out of bed.” I want to love you like “let’s order in Chinese.” I want to love you like we don’t agree on anything fundamental ever (and I don’t care.) I want to love you like I don’t feel used or cheated when I want to spoil you because  your presence spoils me. It isn’t weak to give when you have bounty, and it shouldn’t feel like someone is playing you a fool. If you are who you say you are, let me love you the way I know how to love. If you are not who you say you are, I will know because I will start keeping a tally. Our love should be so lavish there are leftovers on the table we could give away— and we do. After that, I want our love to be simple. Take out containers. Post it notes. Painting my nails and trying drugs, together, maybe. Texts about how you’re going to kill that interview and what the hell were they thinking when they didn’t hire you. Let’s go get drunk, baby, and talk about selling milk & honey from our caravan in Costa Rica. I want our love to be the soft beating drum snap in a soul song. I want our love to be a backstage pass and a front-row seat. I want our love to be poems whispered into my shoulder-blades in the darkness of your room. I want our love to be exhausted by us, to breathe heavy at the end of our lives, and say, Jesus, you guys. Enough. End of poem.  Copyright © arina kharlamova Originally appeared in untethered Vol. 2.2 Winter 2016 At five years old, Arina Kharlamova moved from Moscow to Toronto with her family, and after walking home crying for a year, decided to become better than everyone at English. She’s still working on it. Her poems have been published in untethered, In/Words, and parenthetical. She has joyfully presented at artbar, word(on)stages, Diaspora Dialogues, PechaKucha Markham, TEDxMarkham Public Library, and CIUT 89.5’s Howl. untethered is a biannual Toronto-based literary journal publishing poetry, prose, visual art, and work that blurs those lines, from emerging and established writers and artists. Created by three York University Creative Writing graduates in 2014, untethered has taken the Toronto literary scene by surprise, producing high-quality print journal of polished, always entertaining work. Known for our exciting and highly attended launch events, untethered is completely independent and unfunded. www.alwaysuntethered.com  Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @untetheredmag