Please Be Mine, Even Though I Don’t Fully Have Myself, Yet. – Exodus Oktavia Brownlow

Chapter One: Please Be Mine,


Even though I don’t fully have myself, yet, and I don’t know if I ever will.


They said that I had to hunt for you.

Stampede through the forest of folks to find you for the taking.

Track, track, track you down, baby, to pierce your body with a love arrow’s spell.

Disable you to depend on me.

Rip you away from your best sense of self, and tie you up.

On the hood, you splay out like a crucifix, dying for my sins, rising anew for our us.

I carried you home.


The meanness of others had made a hungered-missing’ness in me. They kept asking me why and when, and when, and when would you come?

My wait turned me into a worry, a wanting, that I needed taken away, hunting you with the hopes that you were just as starved.

When we got home, we ate from one another. Though it was not quite the taste we liked the best, it felt so good to be full, to be filled up, to not feel so half’ed, anymore.


Our love wasn’t the love worthy of great writing, pens swooning across the ballroom-blank-page to the melody of a Tchaikovsky’. Our love was that simple love. Not a cure, but a tincture banded over exposures. The Band-Aid, blending to where there was no distinction between what was skin, and what was just a coating that could shed, would shed, if we did not keep it together.

See, simple is what sells. The shelves are stocked full of it. Strange-tastes take too much getting used to, and what would we have done if the strange shifted? Another getting used to, to get used to. The meanness of others saying— ‘should have stuck to that simple!


Chapter Two: Even Though I Don’t Fully Have Myself,


Half of each other’s other half, we turned ourselves into a whole. We bathroom together. When pee trickles down to river across folds, we worry about a tickle-tingle trying to start. We shush our worries with a pressed kiss. Tell ourselves that we take the same kind of probiotics.


Half of each other’s half, we go on our little diets. One half lifts the large weights, the other half eats the foods we swore to do away with.


Watch, we say in the kitchen, whisking over a baby bumble flame to make thin of a soup nearly frozen from the fridge. When whisked fast enough, right in the middle, a washing of roses waves over and over. One, two, a dozen, we chant. A fast folding of florals.

One half, noticing that it looks a little bit like a tornado.


Chapter Three: I Don’t Fully Have Myself,


Somehow, some night, I found myself away from you.

‘Tried to bathroom alone and in the dark.

My distance grew, my vision grayed.

I was out of the house, and I couldn’t remember how to get back in. My bladder made me blunder. I peed on myself. I yelled for you to come get me. You started down the shady street where I stood at, startled in the streetlights. You, not knowing me but your name. Me, not knowing where I was but you. I stumbled towards you, I don’t want you to forget me! You asked, how do we know each other, again?

It took a while to warm our marriage memory.

Back in bed, you said—Which side of the bed do you sleep on?

I said—We don’t have sides, we split them. We rest right down the middle.


Chapter Four: Yet


It started to not seem right, this whole being only a half-somebody thing.

Two inches away from you grew to feel like two-million.

It started to seem that simple love was really more complicated than they had said. Tasting strange, if not for its deceit than certainly from my own conclusions, made in those two inches away:

Was I, to myself, all Kool-Aid with no sugar?

‘All morning with no rooster to sing his doodle-doo to?

‘All Timbaland with no tightly-made beat?


I had hunted you as a half-somebody.

We found each other as half-somebodies. Wanna-be-married somebodies. Share-the-bills-with and become-beneath-a-body-that-promised-to-be-with-us-until-death-do-us-part somebodies.

But who was the body, our bodies, outside of that some?


Chapter Five:.


A broken-buck’s beckoning tore through my parade’s terror—

“Pleaseeeeee…!” You screamed. “Be mine! Even though you don’t fully have yourself! Be mine! Even though I can’t fully fill myself! Even though—’’ You flustered, faltered in your forgetting. “Be mine. I am brave enough to ask with all of myself, that I do not fully have, because you are the person that I want to not fully be something with.”


Somehow, some night, I wandered on down the street, foggy with dis-remembrance. All I could do was focus on my feet. The further I got away from you, the more I forgot where I was. The more your forgot who I was, that I had even been a want.

I heard the quick whisking of another cement-cold stew. “….one, two, a dozen roses for us,” you wail, you whip as a final romantic, and grand gesture.


At the edges of the street, reddening sign warning me to stop, it came so suddenly. I remembered me, me

In my hunt for you, I had let myself go to the pits.

When I reached back and grabbed me, I was all dusted down and dirty.

I cleaned the soot from my face to realize me, me


that did not like roses because they closed in like a captor’s claw.

Me, that did love lilies because they spread open like a friend’s fingers—


As if to say—Will you consider taking my hand? Hold it to see if I’m even worth having.

As if to say—Will you consider holding my hand? Take it to see if I’m even worth keeping.

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow

Exodus Oktavia Brownlow is a Blackhawk, Ms native writer. You can find her and more of her work at

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