habit, n,: You look away when you lie; you fall into the phrase “if only” when you’re upset; you brush off the bench before you sit.
habitation, n.: We learned to make your morning a twenty-minute delay of mine, so the shower would be open, the coffee ready.
habitual, adj.: When you haven’t been drinking, you’re always on time.
habitué, n.: I wish there was only one bar where everybody knew your name, because then I’d know where to find you.
hack, v.: I am using your computer and an IM pops up. I only see the notification, but let it blink, afraid of the liar I could become.
had, v.: How unfair that we, who never knew an Eden, are destined to try to recapture it with our love.
haggard, adj.: The world works us, and when we are done for the day, we wear its footprints and regather our bearing.
haggle, v.: We are constantly bargaining, but it is always a barter.
hagiography, n.: Love provides the opposite of glorifieation. Our story includes our failings, our flaws, our blunt desires.
ha, exclam.: You are sarcastic.
haha, exclam.: You are appreciative.
hahaha, exclam.: You may actually be laughing.
haiku, n.: Love in its bare form, written cloudless for your eyes, but over so soon
hail, v.: When you decide to put your whole body into it, the cabs don’t stand a chance.
hairball, n.: “Our drain,” I announce, “has grow us a pet. I am naming him Lazy, after you.”
haircut, n.: We both act like it’s still there, and are surprised when we reach for it and it isn’t.
hairslide, n.: A Brit term for a clip; I prefer to think of it as a natural disaster we could suddenly face on a drive outside the city.
halation, n.: In that photo from the beach, you look like you’re stepping right out of the sun, happy to be back down on earth with me.
half, n.: Some days are 60/40, others 72/28 or 51/49 or 47/53. 50/50 is as much a myth as a perfectly symmetrical heart.
halfhearted, adj.: Compliment as concession, acquiescence as a form of acquittal
hallelujah, exclam.: We come back to life. Again and again, we come back to life.
hallow, v.: We consecrate the days in the calendar by creating the memories we will one day revere, putting some of the joy away for later.
hallucination, n.: Some of my favorite conversations with you happen when you are out of the room.
halo, n.: Personally, I think a ring of light over your head would leave you blind. Angels can never see things as they truly are.
hamper, n./v.: Your inability to put dirty clothes in the proper place could very much get in the way of our love.
hamstrung, v.: The fear that by loving you I am missing out on something else. Not someone else, but something else.
hand, n.: While your words may mislead me, I know instinctively when your touch is true.
handful, n.: When you are gripped by your manic enthusiasm, you’re like a classroom of kindergartners under the influence of Mountain Dew.
handle, v.: If you’re truly doing it with care, then I won’t realize I’m in your care.
handmade, adj.: It means more, because it means time.
handoff, n.: You hold the baby long enough to be polite, but pass her like she’s a dish someone just asked for.
handshake, n.: One of the first gestures that falls away when love comes in.
handsome, adj.: Carrying off a Cary Grant.
handwriting, n.: Your letters crash together like a team that barely gets along.
handy, adj.: The difference between taking apart a toilet and fixing a toilet.
hang, v.: There’s something to be said for staying on the couch, for dangling the day rather than pulling it taut.
haphazard, n.: Your affections go in the right direction, but they swerve lanes, miss exits, forget to signal.
hapless, adj.: I can’t tell you how much I want to get my hap back.
haplology, n.: We can skip syllables and sounds and still know each other intimly.
happen, v.: So often we want effect without cause, to have the comfort of an innocent verb.
happy, adj.: I don’t want to be anywhere else, with anyone else. I don’t want to be anyone else. I just want this, which is what I have.
harangue, v.: When your criticisms go on a bender, and I know that time’s the only thing that will sober them up.
harbinger, n.: I put my songs on shuffle, and take the first one that comes up as a sign. The night we met, it was “Look Up”, so I did.
harbor, v.: You are the safe space in rough waters. I steer toward you and you stay where you are, so I can reach you.
hard, adj.: There are times I try to love you when I don’t feel you loving me, and it feels like an impossible thing.
hardball, n.: No more kisses until you do the dishes.
harken, n.: I don’t want to live in the past. They would not welcome me there.
harlotry, n.: The thought of being a slut just tires me out.
harm, v.: To inflict a hurt that will never heal.
harmony, n.: Our voices are very different, but they can work well together.
harness, v.: We put the restrictions on one another, but it’s only in the name of the power we get from the resulting energy.
harp, n./v.: If you nagged me like a harp nags the air, I would give in more to your strings.
harrowing, adj.: Those nights when our love hits the ice, and we don’t know if we can stay on the road. Hold tight.
harrumph, v.: The sound you make when I hit a triple-word score.
harsh, adj.: Calling my character into question when you should be examining the plot instead.
haruspex, n.: There is always the friend who will tear your relationship apart just to claim it’s been examined.
harvest, n.: Should we think of love as something that needs seasonal replenishment, rather than only thinking of it in terms of growing?
hasp, n.: Sometimes it’s not as easy as lock and key, and we need more intricate forms of fastening to stay secure.
hassle, n.: Telling the self-important greeter for the seventh time that I am sure you’ll be here any minute.
haste, n.: I don’t mind, if it doesn’t waste time.
hat, n.: Like children, we try them all, becoming gangsters and spinsters, newsies and flappers, men on Madison and ladies who lunch.
hatchet, n.: I think it is meant to be buried in the ground, not in the lover’s head.
hate, v.: When I use this word, it is irredeemable, which is why I use it so rarely.
hater, n.: Taking your own shortcomings and shooting other people with them.
haughty, adj.: I catch you offering our guests Jarlsberg when I know it’s just a block of swiss.
haul, v.: Yes, love will bend you over, make you strain. That is the burden of having something worth carrying forward.
haunt, v.: If this ever ends, I want the good times to remain good times, and not to be turned into regretful ghosts.
have, v.: Security and comfort. Humor and trust. Surprise and understanding.
hawkeye, n.: If you’re talking to someone attractive, I’m even more likely to see you across a crowded room.
haywire, adj.: The direct correlation between the messiness of our apartment and the degree to which my head is going to explode.
hazard, n.: If you get too used to love, you worry you can’t live without it.
hazily, adv.: Daylight smudge, blurry reach, we pull into each other, nestle against the inevitable waking.
headache, n.: When there are so many thoughts that you can no longer think.
headlong, adj.: I rarely act without thinking, but that hardly prevents me from bounding straight into foolishness.
headphones, n.: Lose the world, find the music. This saves me.
headway, n.: Almost immediately, I could tell that you’d decided not to keep me out, and this was as unusual for you as it was for me.
heal, v.: Time is a salve, but I need your care as well.
hear, v.: I can see the sounds have reached your ear, but also see that they aren’t being translated into words that mean anything to you.
hearsay, n.: I will never believe anything anyone says about you until I tell it to you and see your reaction.
heart, n.: Love as life-giving, life as love-giving – the perpetual, necessary circulation.
heartache, n.: When longing manifests itself physically, and the distance from here and where you want to be fills all the space inside you.
heartbeat, n.: I am keeping time. It accelerates when you’re around.
heartbreak, n.: It’s not the heart that breaks, but our notion of the heart.
heartfelt, adj.: When the magic carpet that the words float upon is woven from the love you offer in saying them.
hearth, n.: Giving heart a home.
heartless, adj.: I would rather have you show the wrong emotions than no emotion at all. I can stand your attack, but not your retreat.
heartwarming, adj.: When things go well, it seems to connect you to all that’s going well in the universe, and the result is warmth.
heatwave, n.: Our whole world reduced to the circumference of a fan’s reach.
heave, v.: The emotions seize me, but I must lift them. Even as I gasp, I reach. Even as I shiver, I rise.
heaven, n.: Sometimes I think it’s a version of being asleep, and sometimes I think it’s a version of being awake.
heavy, adj.: You warn me not to eat a fourth slice of pizza, since it will take up four times as much space as the first three.
heckler, n.: I don’t mind having your voice in my head, but it had better say nice things.
hectic, adj.: When life gets so busy that you don’t feel you have a life at all.
hedge, n./v.: The topiary that grows between us when you waver.
hedonist, n.: If I find my pleasure in loving and being loved, does it make me one of these?
heed, v.: Promising unconditional love is like promising unconditional weather; we can’t ignore the conditions we don’t control.
heel, n.: Our weak spots are sometimes the taut, not the tender.
heighten, v.: Around you, I have this double awareness, which raises me above the easy complacency I can fall into when alone.
heinous, adj.: The ex of yours who refuses to get my name right, even after we’ve met for the sixth time.
heirloom, n.: An object of memory, given by someone who deserves to be remembered.
heliotropic, adj.: Best to orbit around you when you draw me in with your burning.
hellbent, adj.: The downward spiral can trick you into feeling exhilarated as you descend. But then you look up at the end, and despair.
hello, exclam.: For a lover, it’s nervous or unaware at first, then, over time, it grows to have a life behind it.
help, n.: The unobtrusive kindness of sensing a need and alleviating it.
hem, v.: When our love frays, let us fold and stitch it so that it no longer drags along the ground.
hemisphere, n.: Our world, like the globe, is crossed by a borderless divide. All it takes to cross from your half to mine is a single step.
hemostasis, n.: You have the power to stop my circulation with a single word, to make me feel like a failing, stuck inside and out.
hence, adv.: It is a ridiculously simple equation, but its logic fits. I love you, and thus I love life. I love life, and thus I love you.
henotheism, n.: We are given so many gods, and we must prioritize.
henpeck, v.: When you ask when you ask when you ask when you ask when.
herald, v.: Within days, I wanted to announce it to all my friends. I had found a Someone. I had been given a chance, and was taking it.
herd, n.: In the throng of impatient subwaygoers, the close quarters without any closeness, it is easy to forget about love.
here, adv.: Where we are, and what we say when we give something. As if it is not so much a physical place, but our presence in it.
hereafter, n.: You skip over “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” – “too depressing,” you say. “There’s no need to think about that.”
hereditary, adj.: The temper gene, the benevolence gene, the humor gene, the arachnophobia gene, the anxiety gene, the hope gene.
hermetic, adj.: There is always a part of you that lives alone.
hero, n.: It is not that you are unafraid, but that you are able to live with being afraid.
hesitation, n.: In that brief waver of your words, I cycle through all the possible causes of silence.
hesperidium, n.: Peel away my surface and you will still find the safety of sections, the second skin that keeps me whole.
heterodox, adj.: I want to prove something with our love, to show the world that we can defy everything it wants us to be.
heteroglossia, n.: I want my story to have more than one voice.
heteronym, n.: I agree that it would be more fun to call it pop, but I just can’t do it.
heuristic, adj.: Love is nothing if not hands-on learning.
hex, v.: It only takes three breakups to make you feel cursed.
heyday, n.: The spirit of the triumph; our love of the moment can galvanize us into anthemic action.
hiatus, n.: I feel taking time away from one another will only take time away from both of us.
hibernate, v.: If we could nestle together in a tree and sleep until the cold disappeared, I have no doubt that you and I would.
hiccup, n.: Every relationship has its little catches; the trick is to stop whatever you’re doing and focus on your breathing.
hide, v.: As a kid, I’d always run to the same spot, and with you it’s the same. The ill-fitting camouflage, a desire to be found in time.
hideous, adj.: If you wake up looking frightful, I won’t have any regrets; I’ll just find it funny.
hierarchy, n.: This is no single moment it happened, but of everyone else, you come first.
hierogram, n.: Every once in a while, sign my name with a heart.
high, adj.: If I float above things, I want to do so momentarily. While thought can happen in the air, life can only happen on the ground.
highbrow, adj.: It’s not enough to have the books on your shelves. You have to read them to impress me.
highlight, n.: Even if it looks like everything else on the page, this is a moment you want to blaze yellow, to make it easier to return to.
hightail, v.: When you’re drunk, you don’t seem to notice when people are much bigger than you.
highway, n.: You, asleep in the passenger seat. Me, quietly harmonizing with the radio, taking us into the future.
hijack, v.: I don’t know if I handed the controls over to you, or to our amorphous love. Either way, I can no longer imagine another path.
hike, v.: When the path gets steep, we must remember – we don’t have to run this thing. We can take the time we need.
hilarious, adj.: That time I watched you watered your hideously beloved bonsai with vodka.
hinder, v.: Any room you build with someone is bound to have walls.
hindsight, n.: If you think this is 20/20, you are truly using your hind to see.
hinge, v.: You say you love me, or you don’t. The door opens, or it doesn’t.
hinky, adj.: When something is a little askew in your voice; when I catch you catching yourself.
hint, n.: “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” you ask. When I look at you blankly, you say, “I have no idea, but presumably it’s loaf-sized?”
hinterland, n.: How frustrating and magical that no matter how far I travel inside myself, I’m always finding uncharted land.
hip, adj.: I swear, the only reason I eat kale is because I like it.
hireling, n.: You get home, go straight to the fridge for a beer, then ask, “So when do I get to be the boss?”
hirsute, adj.: I resent how hairs in the wrong places act as the antennae of my self-consciousness.
hiss, v.: The whispered insistence; the air leaving the balloon.
history, n.: I care more for the unwritten, for stories that will eventually evaporate; you and I live for this moment more than any other.
hitch, v./n.: Is it the thing that’s going to hold us back or the thing that’s going to hold us together?
hive, n.: To get to the honey, you must persevere through the buzz and the threat of the sting.
hoard, v.: Gatherers of love will end up with too much clutter in their heart. Best to leave some of it outside of you.
hoarsen, v.: The emotion takes its toll on your voice. I feel sorry for you and sorry for me at the same time.
hoax, n.: The only way 17 WAYS TO SAVE YOUR LOVE! can save us is in the way it inspires us to mock it together.
hobby, n.: Let’s make beer together. Or maybe cheese.
hobnob, v.: On the rare occasion we’re invited to a rare occasion, we play dress up and end up talking to the waitstaff instead of the host.
hodgepodge, n.: The congenial disarray when our possessions first merge.
hold, v.: The verb that comes after have, the desire that comes after staring into the alone.
holiday, n.: Let’s step out of the clockwork and enjoy the sweet meander.
holler, v.: I am in the next room, not Alaska.
hollow, adj.: If I am feeling like my soul is a pocket of air, provide the soundwaves that show me the air isn’t an empty thing.
holophrasis, n.: Our letters press together until eventually we become one word, one undi.
home, n.: Not a place; a constant act of creation.
hometown, n.: I take you on a tour through my past, and realize the relentless ultimately relented, allowing me to move on (to you).
homograph, n.: What I’m saying is, it can sound like we’re saying the same thing, but we’re actually making different points.
homologate, v.: Even when I don’t say it, having you agree with me always makes me a little bit stronger.
hone, v.: I learned you like a language, awkwardly phrased at first, then practiced into something approaching fluency.
honesty, n.: It starts as the answer and then becomes the questions.
honey, n.: Too much sweetness can get pretty sticky.
honeymoon, n.: It doesn’t end all of a sudden; it just starts sharing time with other concerns.
honk, v.: It is impolite to call my driving impolite.
honor, v.: Let us grace each other with our respect.
hoodwink, v.: If you pretend we’re newly married just to get the nicer room, I will insist you carry me over the threshold.
hooey, n.: Banish the Hallmark and use your own words.
hook, v.: That’s how it feels – something from you has latched into me. But my body accepts it, as long as you don’t pull too hard.
hoopla, n.: You have the ability to make a big fuss about how I shouldn’t make a big fuss.
hooray, exclam.: Beneath this loud cheer is a sigh of relief.
hopeful, adj.: You will stay with me, and happiness will stay with me, and I will stay in this world, content.
hopscotch, v.: There are stretches in love where you will have to move forward on one leg, unsteady but still determined.
horizon, n.: Everything seems calmer in the distance, so we need to look off every now and then, and trust we will make it there.
horny, adj.: In a conversational mood, with conversation being very loosely defined.
horology, n.: Each love has its own system. Ours is measured by the words that come and go, and the years that stay.
horrible, adj.: Loss is at the dark heart of this word; if there is not loss involved, then it isn’t really horrible.
hosanna, n.: I praise us for circumventing circumstance, for elevating above despair, for squeezing kindness through the cracks of any wall.
hospitable, adj.: You bought a third and then a fourth pair of sheets, just to be sure they were always clean when I came over.
host, n.: In love, you can’t worry so much about the party that you make yourself unable to enjoy it.
hostel, n.: At a certain point, you both agree the cheap price isn’t worth the snoring of the Germans.
hostile, adj.: Anger is a distortion.
hot, adj.: So much touch that you have to call it contact; so much smolder that it feels the ozone has wrapped itself around us.
hotheaded, adj.: I’m warning you, it’s brushfire season in there right now. Put those matches away.
hound, v.: The dogged persistence or a nagging doubt that turns itself into a nagging question.
housebroken, adj.: Live alone long enough, you forget the need to close the bathroom door.
household, n.: No longer ‘current resident’ – I save this first piece of junk mail, because it makes it feel like the house has taken hold.
housewarming, n.: How strange to see the rooms so populated, to have our history walking all over our present.
hover, v.: To make yourself the ghost in the room, either to take assurance or to give it.
howl, n.: The feral voice inside us that is not a lack of words but instead an overwhelming rush of them, too many at once.
hubbub, n.: The push and pull of the subway soundtrack, the conversations we don’t hear as we make our own joint contribution.
huffy, adj.: Sucker-punched and sleepless, I slip on the skin of the wolf and talk to you like you’re a little pig.
hug, v.: All things being equal.
hullabaloo, n.: When we turn ourselves into trumpets, unleashing our loudest, proudest noise.
hum, v: You are the steady sound that prevents my emptiness from ever being truly empty.
human, adj.: We flaw our way into foibles, but I like to think that love is the current that powers us.
humbling, adj.: My body is already giving me previews of the ways I’m going to lose it.
humdinger, n.: “How’d you meet?” the guy asks. You say, “Two planets collided, and we were among the few survivors.”
humiliate, v.: To tarnish, to reduce, to undermine, to steal.
humor, n.: You say it’s my protective shell; I tell you it’s my release valve.
humorous, adj.: Sometimes love laughs at us, so sometimes we must laugh at love.
hunger, n.: Much more essential than a craving, my desire for love is a matter of sustenance and survival.
hunt, v.: You can’t think of love like this. The only possibilities are someone getting captured, getting killed, or getting away.
hurdle, n.: “You don’t like dogs?” I asked.
hurry, v.: There’s no way to skip to the good parts, but there’s definitely a way to skip the good parts altogether if we rush.
hurtful, adj.: When you know it will hurt me and then do it anyway.
hush, n.: The sound of snowfall; the rest of silence.
hustle, v.: You take energy from the motion, from the maneuver, from the shove and dodge of being in love.
huzzah, exclam.: I can’t help but smile and think, “It’s not our marriage bed, but it will do.”
hybridity, n.: Synonym for heredity; the dual natures that combine to form our own.
hydraulic, adj.: “Yes, we’re extraordinary machines,” you say, pulling close. “But when I love you, it’s not the machine I care about.”
hydrologic, n.: Understanding that what we need inside of us is the same thing as what we need outside of us.
hydrolyze, v.: You want to lounge around after your run; I push you into the shower. When you hit the water, you scream, “I’M MELTINGGG!”
hydropathy, n.: And then there are the times when I retreat to the shower, and need the forgetfulness of water to loose me from my thoughts.
hydroponic, adj.: We decided to live in the city, so we had to learn how to grow away from the soil.
hymnographer, n.: I want to be the one to write the divine into your life, and to have it lift through you like a song.
hype, n.: The new may have more in the form of allure, but sometimes I just want to try something old with you.
hyperactive, adj.: “Your imagination,” you say, “can sometimes resemble a sugar-rushed child just released from a cage.”
hyperbole, n.: The best word ever.
hyperborean, adj.: “No,” you said. “I will NOT move to Washington Heights.”
hypergamy, n.: Sometimes I have to block the voice saying I’m lucky to have you, just to remember that you’re lucky to have me.
hyperopia, n.: Stop looking out there. I am right here.
hyperventilate, v.: Your body can feel the loss before you do.
hyphenation, n.: It is so small and straightforward, but it’s enough to link us.
hypnogogic, adj.: My last word is always to you, my last sight is usually you, my last thought meanders in your direction before heading off
hypnopopic, adj.: Mind letting go of the dream; I will open my eyes and find you there.
hypnotic, adj.: There is nothing quite so eye catching as the love you think is just out of your sight.
hypochondriac, adj.: In love as in health, turning an imperfection into an alarm.
hypocrite, n.: Your words have become misaligned from your actions, and you don’t even notice.
hypotenuse, n.: The direct route is always shorter than the distance to a common point.
hysterical, adj.: Am I overreacting, or are you over me reacting?