an open love letter

to the tall, beautiful, kind-hearted brotha-i-don't-know-yet, 

i have to admit, i am a little nervous, writing to you.  see, some time ago, i thought i'd found the person i'd spend the rest of my life with.  things didn't work out.

that's where you come in. events appear to have conspired to find us here, searching for one another across these spaces and times.

oh, yes, love--i know you're waiting. when i was in the midst of the deepest pain and emptiness, it seemed that you were hearing/sensing my call and reaching for me. i'm sure that you want what i have to give, as much as i want to develop an Exchange with you {more on the capitalization in a bit}.

you see, growing up, i never really thought much about whether or not i'd be a mother. i didn't want to be a princess, nor did i get stuck on planning my wedding. however, i was nearly certain that i had a match out there somewhere--not because anyone had told me that a man made you whole or complete, but because i knew my spirit wasn't created in isolation. i had a complement.

so, suddenly, i find myself past 30 with three soulmates and other adoring lovers, admirers and friends scattered across my past. relationships that "should" have worked, but faltered. men with work left undone; unrequited karma brought to bear on love, bad timing, and so on.

i regret nothing, and i've learned a lot.

what i deeply desire now--and what i hope you understand--is The Exchange: full and unapologetic reciprocity, a thing unto itself. i am interested in learning new ways of loving, pleasure, joy. i have explored some of this on my own, but there are dimensions of that learning that require a partnership. i am open to sharing and love far beyond romanticised, false notions steeped in illusion.

what i'm seeking from you, love, is deep intimacy. sweetness. consideration. The Exchange.

i live to feed those i love...but you will have to know how to feed me. be assured: i will not blame you for the shortcomings of others, and i expect the same.  my house will no longer be a classroom or evolutionary stepping stone for the battered and broken.  do not come because you are drawn to the light but have not discovered your own, or because you desire to ride my proverbial coattails.

i will not tolerate fear, torturous affairs, unrequited longings, neuroses, hesitation.  for my part, i know there are still sore spots deep down...things i may not recognize as wounded until you touch them. but that's all right--i can make space for more healing.

you must be on time, intelligent, working/responsible/taking care of business, fluently conversational, sensual, grateful, adoring, healed/healing, confident yet humble...a lover of arts and respectful of spirit. deliberate and intentional, with proven results. you can see i love words, but in relationship, i consider "love" an action verb. be protective without obsession/possession, balanced in your conception of manhood/masculinity.

i pray you understand the fundamentals of courting...i like to be taken out, brought small, thoughtful gifts. in other matters?  i require a man full of stamina, physically compatible and satisfying {to put it discreetly...i enjoy feeling filled, stretched...with just a twinge of bittersweet hurt-so-good(ness)}. strong shoulders/back, pretty mouth, skilled hands.

one more thing, sweetheart: i need you close...i cannot abide long distance love/loving. maybe for a moment or three, but not long term. i want to see you, touch you, hold you.  i have been alone long enough--both literally and figuratively--that i do not feel this is too much to ask.

i have enjoyed all these things in the past, so this is no mere wishlist.  the healing and the reciprocity have been the missing pieces; the things that erode even the best loving.

have you faced not only the pain of your people, but your own pain?  have you forgiven mama, daddy, the one who first broke your heart?  have you learned how to really, totally love a woman--not just physically, but in the sense of the works of audre lorde, bell hooks, saul williams, alice walker, maxwell and other women-loving artists and thinkers? dealt with your ego?  have you let go of the need to have power over in favor of power within? can you share?

ideally, your answer will be a resounding and truthful "yes".  you can have all the rest, but without the proper consideration of those questions and others like them, we will not last. 

this note is by no means comprehensive, but it is a start.  

i am here. i am ready. i'd love to love you. come on home.




  1. wow. this. THIS.

    I actually have tears in my eyes. this damn near took my breath away.

  2. all i can say is that it's honest...

    i didn't cry while i was writing it, but i just sniffled sending it to a few male friends who've really helped me through the last few months.

    it's been a journey, but i'm here, and i'm grateful. :-)

  3. last night, i dreamt i was in love...

    hoping he's real, and that he's close.

  4. I don't even have words to express how this moved me. I have felt, dreamt, prayed and crooned this to the moon. Thank you for sharing and for putting into words what I had trouble articulating. Peace.

  5. @adjua - you're welcome. i've been really humbled by the response(s) to this.

    i think it's a really important exercise; helps you get to the core of what you need.