When I close my eyes, you are all I see. When I open them, you are all I want to see.

We always meet in passing. At a random event. In the wilderness. In my dreams. We are so inter-connected and yet so distant from one another.

I swear that you can hear my heart hammering in my chest every time we greet each other. It’s so loud! Your angelic voice with that distinct accent combines with the thundering beats, creating music. I want to dance to it but you’d just think I am insane.

Actually, you are the kind of beautiful that drives great poets insane. I am so lucky that I am nowhere near a great poet. Or maybe I am already insane.

For a person who doesn’t believe in borders, I have plenty of walls. It’s harder to scale my walls than cross the harsh terrain between United States and Mexico. But you know how to break them down and make me melt into a puddle.

You don’t need to touch me. Your warm gaze sets me ablaze. But it feels so good when you do touch me, especially when your fingers graze my skin ever so lightly. And every time you do that, I shed my thick skin. I am reborn.

Don’t get me started on that sweet smile. It makes my world spin out of control. I love it when your lips curl up and reveal those delectable corners that I want to spend all day kissing. My heart does a flip when you laugh out loud. And I can make a CD out of your giggle and place it on repeat.

Sometimes I allow myself the luxury of sitting next to you and listening to you breathe. And in those short privileged moments, I discover the sanctity and value of life.

Sometimes I feel like I am missing God. But I realize belatedly that it is really you that I am missing. I confess.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

My head screams. My heart chants.

You aren’t obligated to feel the same way. You probably think I am the unfriendly asshole who doesn’t give you the time of day.

I’m the idiot who will invite you to my home while making sure that I am not there. At a gathering, I will talk to everyone but flatly ignore you. Every time I meet you, I’ll pretend not to know you. I’ll make fun of your nose but I really just want to have your babies. I’m afraid that if I spent time with you, if you looked into my eyes, you’ll discover my deepest secret. I’d no longer be an enigma or inspiration or infallible for you. I’d simply be the incredibly vulnerable person who loves you with an undying devotion, the person who has loved you since the first time we saw each other. Actually, I go around claiming that I don’t remember the first time we saw each other. Or maybe I remember it so well that I am afraid to admit it to you.

People call me brave but I am actually a closet coward. I don’t know how to put myself out there and tell you how I feel. I only take risks that are carefully calculated. I am not good enough for you, not good enough for something so incredible. I don’t know how to say “I love you and I want to be with you but I’m in removal proceedings and we cannot really live together anywhere.”

It’s amazing because more than 36,000 people in this country do precisely that. They love each other and they promise to build a life together regardless of the obstacles in their way. They try to build a family together even as the law constantly tries to rip them apart. They are my heroes. I am not one of them. Yet.

To be clear, I’m not afraid of your rejection. I’m afraid of your acceptance. I’m terrified that you may feel the same way!

I feel an incredible power inside me, threatening to break lose. Most days, I’m good at containing it but your acceptance of my love will tip the balance. I’m afraid that if you give me a sign, I’ll destroy many lives, many institutions, and entire countries in the selfish quest to be together. I’ll turn the world upside down if we have to spend a moment apart.

But I don’t want my love for you to be the cause of so much devastation. So I keep it inside. I let it out in small, contained snippets. I write.

I start with “I love you.” I say it into a mirror a hundred times each day hoping to get it right, hoping you can hear it, hoping you can feel it. Both of us love words, but these three words are not enough to convey my feelings. These words are nothing next to you. These words are failing us both.

So what I say to you is not important. My feelings are hidden in the words I don’t speak out loud. I can only hope you hear these unspoken and undocumented feelings. I can only hope that they fill you with warmth and strength. I can only hope this made you smile like it was meant.

I can only hope.

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