Betsy + Billy C.

When I fall asleep tonight

Watery moonlight awash on my walls

I will tuck around me tightly

the blanket of memories you wove with me

throughout our years together

friends and lovers and dreamers and kindred souls

From that very first thread

an awkward first dance

on a November Friday night in 6th grade

all ugly wired braces and stepping on toes

scared to get too close

hearing giggles from the friends who set us up.

Your baseball jacket warmed my shoulders

a few days later, after a Monday morning

half-torn note pressed into my palm between class changes

(with that crazy laugh of yours)

scrawled in that handwriting that made me soft,

“I like you. Will you go with me? (circle one) Yes or no.”

Who knew that note really meant

will you love me for 39 short years we have left together on this earth

will you love me in my darkness and light,

when I text you at night, afraid of my own thoughts,

when I cry (don’t tell anyone because cowboys don’t cry)

will you love my soul when I hate myself?

Will you love me just as I am,

unhealed and tormented but learning

rough on the outside

but soft as the ocean breeze between our fingers

on a starlit night as we watch Cuba disappear in the distance?

Will you love me even when I’m more

in love with you than I will ever admit, even to myself?

Will you love me when I fail

again and again

When I tell myself I’m not enough for you but

too much for this world

When I have to go to on a journey


to quiet the demons that never stop?

And as tears drop down into the jagged sharpness of my shattered heart,

and soak into that blanket,

I’ll sing one of Hank’s songs to myself in lullaby and

listen for you to whisper

Will you still love me

when you sip bourbon (even though you hate it)

when the loneliness I’ve left behind keeps you hollow and aching

for a hug, a touch, a call that never comes

when you don’t understand and can’t ask me why

I didn’t say something three days ago

when we laughed over drinks about past lives and

looked forward to future plans?

When you remember I promised you I’d see someone

about this darkness

in 11 more days?

When you see the heart emoji

I sent you


after you told me

happy birthday?

Will you still love me

when I’m no longer here to love?

Just like that Monday, so long ago

my answer will be yes.

every time, yes.

to every question, yes

again and again, yes

the way it was when we were together.

until the demons are gone, yes

and you can join me under that blanket, yes

and your heart beats under my ear again

Yes and yes and yes.

I’ve never not loved you,

my big goof.

Until we meet again,



If you’re facing mental health issues or have ever had suicidal thoughts, please reach out and ask for help. The things your mind tells you are not true. You are enough, you are loved, and you are the light in the lives of many people, whether you’re able to see past your darkness or not.