lackey, n.: I will ask you to fetch something not because I’m lazy, but because I want to correct the laziness imbalance in our household.
lackluster, adj.: All shines fade over time, but I don’t mind seeing the real surface beneath. There is a less illusory beauty there.
laconic, adj.: Decaffeinated.
ladder, n.: I don’t need you at the top – I need you holding it steady.
lag, v.: I spend so much time catching up with my own life that I need your help in catching up with yours.
lair, n.: First time I saw the mysterious, narrow door. “That’s where I keep my old wives,” you said. “They look a lot like coats.”
lakeside, adj.: Being next to a body of water allows us to feel that we are bodies of water, allowed to expand into the moment, undammed.
lambast, v.: We say we’re only allowed to mean about mean people, but sometimes we forget, and need to stop.
lambent, adj.: The light of a single lamp, gathering around you as you make your way to bed, to me in the shadows.
lamebrained, adj.: If I have to ask “Do you love me?” I am never going to trust the answer I want to hear.
lament, v.: The sound that rises from the earth after a burial.
lamination, n.: Any attempt to preserve this feeling will leave it at a remove, unable to be seen as it once was to us.
lampoon, v.: Every time you make fun of old people, I picture you older. Every time you make fun of fat people, I picture you fatter.
land, v.: Even in the fog of our fear, I will make it home to you.
landline, n.: We are so old-fashioned, wanting to lay our wires in the ground instead of always trusting the air.
landlord, n.: The man who times his dog-walking for whenever you happen to be stumbling home in an embarrassing manner.
landmark, n.: When you’re lost, I will build as many lighthouses as it takes to lead you home.
landslide, n.: I hear the song in this word. And as time makes us older, is it possible to hear the song without thinking of you?
language, n.: Love’s willing accomplice; we start with our names, and build from there.
languid, adj.: When language turns liquid, and our vowels grow as long as our pauses.
languor, n.: After the impassioned crux, after the crescendo, we lay there, and I swear, we have reduced ourselves to heartbeats.
lanky, adj.: To buy skinny jeans without any self-consciousness.
lantern, n.: I keep reminding myself to live with the flicker, because it’s an inevitable part of the light.
lanyard, n.: Even in childhood, we mark the territory of our friendships. If I could convince you to wear one now, I would.
lap, v.: Yes, it means you’re ahead of me, but you’re still stuck on the same track.
lapidary, adj.: I could feel you becoming engraved on my life, and as the years go by, the engravement grows deeper.
lapse, n.: I looked away, and didn’t see you looking away.
laptop, n.: The portable vessel of all my obligations.
larceny, n.: We think that which is given cannot be stolen, but when your heart pulls away from mine, all I’ve given feels taken anyway.
large, adj.: Forget to the moon and back; I love you as much as everything in the sky that isn’t the moon.
largesse, n.: Did you refrain from using that last bit of toilet paper so I would have some, or so I’d have to change the roll?
lark, n.: We are the uncaged birds, singing for the song of it.
laryngitis, n.: We learn firsthand that love does, in fact, need words to work smoothly. Or maybe our eye contact hasn’t gotten there yet.
lascivious, adj.: I love it when you find that spot, especially since that spot lives to jump around.
last, v./adj.: I have to believe that what we have is not the end, but will make it to the end.
latch, v.: Loce is the clasp at the back on your neck that you cannot fasten yourself.
late, adj.: I find myself wishing I’d met you earlier, before so many things about me solidified.
latecomer, n.: I stand across the street, take an extra ten seconds to feel what it’s like to be the unseen, awaited one.
lately, adv.: The imprecise, nagging sense that now is different from then, even though the border between the two can’t be pinpointed.
latent, adj.: I didn’t know I would be able to be there for you, until there I was, for you. Love is not born as much as it is awakened.
later, adv.: We will be stronger, we will recover, we will think clearer, we will understand more and worry about less.
lateral, adj.: As we walk, I always turn to check that you’re beside me. You tell me to trust that you’ll keep step, that you are there.
lather, n.: Accessorizing the rub-a-dub.
laughter, n.: I feel like I’ve done something right, to cause this momentary alleviation, this bright spot we share.
launch, v.: We were never given a countdown, just ignition. But we didn’t burn all fuel in the ascent, so we can still lift to new heights.
laundry, n.: Our clothes wrestle in the hamper over which will be liberated first.
laurel, n.: As you unpacked your stuff, I asked if the fifth-grade math prize was necessary; you said it gave you something to live up to.
lavish, v.: I would leave a single pearl on your bedside table each and every morning, to keep in your pocket each and every day.
lawless, adj.: Stop stealing sugar packets from Starbucks. We now have enough to sandbag the entire kitchen drawer.
lawn, n.: “I’d never take pride in it; it would only be a chore,” you tell me, and we agree we’ll never live outside the city.
layer, v.: I am not like this by desire, but by design. When we hit what lies underneath, I am often as surprised as you.
laze, v.: The buttery posture of a springtime Saturday, uncommunicative bliss.
lazy, adj.: “If you stay there any longer,” you say to me, “I’m going to have to start calling you a cushion.”
lead, v.: When I’m so lost in darkness that I can’t see my own hands or even remember what hands are for, I need you to pick up the lantern.
leaden, adj.: Why would you want to carry me when my thoughts weigh so much?
leaf, n.: I find hope as much in their intricacy as in their arrival. Messengers of our renewal, the springtime of our complexity.
leak, v.: I could tell you I want the explosive burst, but in truth I would stay in the slow deflation for much longer than I should.
lean, v.: My center of gravity shifts; you are essential, momentarily, for my equilibrium.
leap, n.: Sometimes, loving you, I have to focus on the ground ahead, and ignore the ground that’s not beneath my feet.
learnable, adj.: You think, ‘I’ve never felt this way before.’ But you get used to it, and it becomes something else.
lease, v.: It doesn’t need to be yearly, but every now and then, you and I need to renew.
leash, n.: At the end of the workday, I want home to be the dog run.
leave, v.: From here on in, all of my vanishings are temporary, all of my destinations will fall short of never and gone.
lecture, v.: You are not an authority on any of your favorite topics, including yourself, but you proceed to talk as if you were.
ledger, n.: At first you count the dates, until you stop counting. Later, you stop and count the days, and are amazed at how many there are.
leeway, n.: You can’t only make room for me in your life. You also have to make room for my mistakes.
leftover, adj.: The ghost of you remains in our apartment; I like to think of it as an extra part of your love, meant to keep me company.
legacy, n.: Even if the kindness ultimately dissolves rather than spreads, I will be glad we lived within it.
legal, adj.: It will not mean that you belong to me or that I belong to you, only that we belong together.
legendary, adj.: The way you sing along to Whitney, it’s like you’ve forgotten you’re you, and it’s her own desire breaking through.
legible, adj.: To know your hand as I know your voice; to recognize what you leave behind as well as what you say.
legitimize, v.: I rely upon every “I love you” to let me know my feet are not off the ground.
legroom, n.: We are both willing to take the middle seat even if neither of us particularly wants it.
legwork, n.: It takes miles of conversation for the wandering to feel like it has a direction, for us to realize we are companions.
leisure, n.: Let’s wrap some books, some cheese, and some wine in a beach towel, and escape our lives for a few hours or days.
leitmotif, n.: The frustration of the unknowable. The prevalence of words not said, feelings not expressed. The confusion of our navigation.
lemonade, n.: In this scenario, I think it’s safe to say that we’re the lemons.
lend, v.: After a few months, we made it to the stage where I had to tell you which things I actually needed back.
lengthen, v.: How much time do I spend wanting more time? The only way to get more time is to get free of these thoughts.
lenient, adj.: Treating a trespass as a stumble off course, not a new path.
lens, n.: I look for excuses to capture you, to take a moment from you that I can keep for much longer than memory would last.
leonine, adj.: To be known more for attack than repose.
leper, n.: When I feel harmful because of who I am, you will not let me isolate myself.
less, det.: It’s okay to cut back on the sugar, but not to the point that all sweetness disappears.
lesser, adj.: The only way to solve the perpetual competition is to understand there will be a near balance of categories we each win.
lesson, n.: All Mona manages to teach us is how bad we are at knitting. You say as long as mittens are $5 at H&M, we’ll be fine.
let, v.: To rent out your permission, hopefully at no cost.
letdown, n.: That moment you realize that love hasn’t cured anything – it’s only eased some of the side effects.
lethargic, adj.: Yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it requires so much effort to get to it.
letter, n.: I would love to read your life story in installments, as it happens. I’d even wait a few days for it to be delivered.
level, v./n.: In our relationship, there’s no way to smooth the terrain; instead we need to build our own layers upon it.
levelheaded, adj.: We fall into the pattern of swing and ballast; you see me about to launch and try to push into the reservoir of calm.
leverage, n.: You hold so much more power for keeping my secrets. The minute you threaten to use them, you’ll disintegrate.
leviathan, n.: I tell you I had a whale-shaped birthday cake when I was nine and you spend hours trying to replicate it, decades later.
levitate, v.: The best that love can offer is that feeling of floating, but your feet don’t have to leave the ground.
levity, n.: I love you with the intensity of seriousness when you bring the opposite of seriousness into my closed room.
lewd, adj.: The tongue is the epicenter of all lewdness, in word, gesture, or action. You use yours well.
lexicography, n.: We work so hard to find our definitions.
lexicon, n.: “It’s an actual con,” you say. “You dress as your favorite word, and hit up collectors for words that’ve fallen out of use.”
leyline, n.: Wherever we are, no matter how we swerve, there is always a straight line between us.
liability, n.: It is not your ability to lie, more your compulsive desire to do so, that has the potention to doom us.
liaison, n.: There are times I want you to love me as if you don’t already know who I am.
liar, n.: After all this time, you cannot look at me and say you feel nothing.
libation, n.: A substance designed to free the tongue and vacate the mind.
libelous, adj.: After all this time, you cannot look at me and say I feel nothing.
liberal, adj.: “The way I see it,” you said on date two, “sometimes you have to vote for something better than your best interests.”
liberty, n.: I do not need to set you free. You have always been free. There is no room in our love for cages of any kind.
library, n.: We improvise our memoirs as we walk the aisles, pulling out books we’ve read and telling the stories that go beside them.
license, n.: The one I grant you is largely poetic, capable of accepting the improbable in the course of the hoped for.
licentious, adj.: You say you’re a trainwreck, but I think you know exactly where the rails are laid.
lick, v.: Indeed, somehow it seems that this is what common sense does to us – we’re very aware of it for a moment, then it evaporates.
lie, v.: The little ones don’t bother me so much, except for my fear that bigger ones lurk behind them, laughing at my ignorance.
lifeboat, n.: In those moments or days when all I need to do is survive to the next, we jettison the rest and focus on staying above water.
lifelike, adj.: Days when we go through the motions so much that the motions feel fake; we’re bad actors who aren’t supposed to be acting.
lifetime, n.: The longest amount of time any love can possibly promise.
liftoff, n.: Hold my hand for sudden accelerations, if you see I’m about to take flight.
ligature, n.: This cord was woven from our happiest days, and must be used to stitch us better when we do unseamly things to one another.
light, n.: I am grateful to you for staying awake a little longer so I can read a little longer.
lightbulb, n.: One to screw it in, and one to wonder why it’s the lightbulb that gets to be screwed.
lighten, v.: It’s not just the burdens. It’s all the other things you help me lift, so they won’t teeter over and become burdens.
lightheaded, adj.: When I am too tired to know my own name, you give it back to me gently.
lighthearted, adj.: When we laugh at the same time, at the same thing, and I don’t need anything more from the moment than that.
lightning, n.: There is no sense in chasing after the things that only last for a few seconds. Better, you say, to enjoy the full storm.
lightsome, adj.: I watch you dance through the crowd in a crowded bar, conversational choreography, while I sit and oak.
ligneous, adj.: Whenever you seem too sturdy, I start to suspect your heart is made of wood.
likable, adj.: It’s much better to be liked.
liker, n.: The reason we say lover: While you must like the one you make a life with, you can’t make a life with someone you merely like.
likelihood, n.: No love has ever started as a probability; it can only become one over time.
likeminded, adj.: It doesn’t matter if we both like peanut butter or Fallon, only that we both want to do good in this world.
lilt, v.: We rise and we fall, but it’s all a part of the music, all a part of the words being said.
limber, adj.: The ability to get out of bed without waking the other person up.
limbo, n.: When I have no idea what you want, and you give no indication of considering what I want.
lime-green, adj.: The preferred color of couches, we agree.
limen, n.: I know that my preoccupations can be a full-time job, leaving me little time to notice the things that go effortlessly well.
limit, n.: Love is the knowledge that there is an end to everything, coupled with the choice to disregard it.
limpid, adj.: When the storm clouds clear from my head, I want to open my eyes and see what you look like.
linchpin, n.: I need you to be one of the certainties that holds me together.
line, n.: Our connection will never be the shortest distance between points. It twists and digresses, but as long as it connects we’re okay.
lineage, n.: The weight of responsibilities you didn’t in any way create.
linger, v.: After we’ve outlasted the last guests, we contentedly compare our notes and bring the orphaned glasses home to the kitchen.
lingo, n.: The idiosyncratic vocabulary your lover has picked up over years, which you find to be the bee’s knees, or the cat’s pajamas.
link, n.: Click on too many and you end up part of the chain.
lionize, v.: In any relationship, excessive admiration can be a beast that bites.
lip, n.: I trace yours with my fingertips, as if I can feel the topography of all the words kept inside.
lipogrammatic, adj.: I’m an alphabet with you, but I’ll use some letters much more often, to the point you may forget I have a q or a z.
lissome, adj.: The lies to watch out for are the slender ones, that seem so attractive until they start to eat away.
list, v.: Trying to account for all of my failings will only set you on the wrong course, leaning too heavily on your fears.
listen, v.: To appreciate the sanctity of that which is spoken, and to undertake the translation of words to thought.
listless, adj.: The inner and outer emptiness connect; your world is asleep and your mind is not.
literally, adj.: Literally, the most redundant word you use on a daily basis, which figuratively drives me out of my mind.
literary, adj.: I prefer to be bookish, because that feels like a less exclusive club.
literate, adj.: It takes a child four or five years to get the hang of words, and it will take me just as long to learn how to read you.
lithosphere, n.: Your anger solidifies you into crags and caves, and I, who am always looking for softness, turn away.
litigious, adj.: I want such a thing as a lovesuit, where a court can redress the questions not answered, the clothes left on the floor.
litter, n.: You spell yourself out over the apartment in unread mail and pocket change, coffee cups and discarded receipts.
little, adj.: When you talk down to me, I shrink.
littoral, adj.: We gaze at the water, unsure but satisfied. It is pointless to try to count the waves. Quietly, we widen.
livable, adj.: When pain dulls to hurt; when ecstasy calms to appreciation; when we can see everything that exists outside disappointment.
live, v.: To want to be here, even when you don’t want to be here.
livelihood, n.: The trick is to find that job that actually brings you liveliness.
loan, v.: What’s mine will be yours, and what was once borrowed will now be kept in common.
loathe, v.: When a thing offends not just your view of the situation but your view of the universe.
lobby, n.: I see you, sentry of my sentiments, unguarded as the guard tells you I’ll be right down, not knowing I’m already there.
local, adj.: We each worked hard to have the barista remember our daily order; you won, because you aren’t afraid to introduce yourself.
locate, v.: I call and text and keep sending out my sonar to no great effect, because clearly I am out of my depth.
lock, n./v.: It’s never as simple as a key with me. You have to know the combination.
locomotion, n.: Cruel as it may seem, I love the way you hug-hop-hover to keep warm as I look for my keys.
lodestar, n.: I often need to measure my own coordinates against something so distant from me that it’s only meaning can be what I give it.
lodging, n.: Your complaint is the unwanted houseguest of our evening; every time I start to relax, I hear it break a lamp in the next room.
lofty, adj.: I don’t need a private jet or even to take cabs; I’d just like, for fun, to rent out a ballroom and invite all our friends.
logarithm, n.: I would love there to be a predictability to our ups and downs, but there is no convenience in our math.
logic, n.: I find no consolation in the way things are supposed to go.
logistics, n.: Understand it this way — on a basic level, I just want to get there on time. That’s all.
logorrhea, n.: Love is hardly an articulate beast; in the heat of the moment, it tends to sweat torrents of words.
loiter, v.: I grant you easy trespass; never grow self-conscious when you linger for me.
loll, v.: The only reason we’re still awake is we’ve forgotten how to go to sleep.
lollygag, v.: It’s not as much a waste of time when I’m wasting it with you.
loneliness, n.: Not the feeling of being in an empty room, but the feeling of being locked in an empty room.
loner, n.: I worry that I will never find anyone else’s company as compelling as my own.
longevity, n.: “The secret,” my grandfather told me, “is to never fight.” Which I took as a form of useful denial.
longing, n.: To be sure that the thing that will make you better is the thing you don’t yet have.
look, v./n.: Moments when I don’t have to say “I’m over here,” because I can tell you already know, without having to turn.
loop, n.: I don’t mind having the same conversation over and over again if I feel we’re getting a little tighter each time.
loophole, n.: I felt I could do better and maybe wouldn’t find better, then you snuck in before I closed the contemplation.
loopy, adj.: What do you mean, not every pair can amuse themselves for hours on end by speaking in exaggerated thespian accents?
loose, adj.: In bed we don’t need to cling or cluster, but instead unfold, appreciating the overlap, but also the space.
lopsided, adj.: It’s only when we kiss that I remember who’s taller, or who wants the kiss more.
lord, v.: Neither of us wears divinity well, so it’s better we knock ourselves off our self-made alters before opening our mouths to speak.
lore, n.: The further the family stories get from our generation, the more they feel like personal mythologies, with time as the only god.
lose, v.: My hair. My vanity. My favorite sweater. My apartment. My books. Every day, there are more things I’d rather lose than lose you.
loser, n.: Every time I speak the truth without knowing how to articulate it, I feel I haven’t lived up to the moment I wanted to create.
lost, adj.: Some days I wake up to wilderness; I need you to sing me to the edge of the forest, since I cannot trust my eyes.
lot, n.: I am jealous of your ability to look at the emptiness and imagine it as a place to build a home.
lottery, n.: I never wanted to be someone who felt the more tickets I bought, the more likely I’d be to win, especially with love.
loud, adj.: We rarely scream, but when we do, it’s fear that fuels the volume, whiplash twist of love.
lounge, v.: Changing the tempo and find the music that lies outside the dancing. Kick up your heels and laze next to me.
lousy, adj.: I wish I could fix all the things I break.
lovable, adj.: I don’t know if you can be loved if you don’t first allow yourself to be loved, which can be a hard step for some of us.
lovely, adj.: Take the deepest shine of your affections and turn it into an adjective. Then note when it reflects back at you.
lovesick, adj.: Feverish ache; chilblain despond; the cough that won’t release itself; irregular heartbeat; hardness of breath.
low, adj.: I will crawl.
loyalty, n.: I remain as devoted to your mistakes as I am to your victories, because I know you and I know what you mean to do.
lucent, adj.: My love for you is both a particle and a motion, more powerful in its effect than in its being.
lucidity, n..: The intense wakefulness that comes from stripping away the clutter and calmly considering the core.
lucky, adj.: Be grateful for all the things that have nothing to do with you when they end up having everything to do with you.
ludology, n.: Every lover has an idiosyncratic set of moves. The moves dictate the game so much more than the rules do.
lug, v.: All your books up all the stairs; if this isn’t a loving act, I don’t know what is.
lugubrious, adj.: I can hear the Eeyore infusing my tones, and no matter how much you Tigger, I can’t quite find my dancing feet.
lukewarm, adj.: I fear the tepid more than the scald, because I know I am so much less likely to jump away from a bland form of drowning.
lull, v.: You stroke my hair, give my breathing a new pace, and I can feel the wild horses in my head begin to calm.
lullaby, n.: We sing the gentlest moments of our childhood to each other, with no intention of ever putting them to rest.
luminary, n.: You saw a rich and famous guy at a party and wanted to go up and ask point blank, “What’s it like to be so rich and famous?”
luminescence, adj.: when the shimmer on the water isn’t a trick of the light but is something living, intrinsic.
lunacy, n.: We keep throwing rocks in the water and thinking we can make a tide.
lunch, n.: In the war between leaving the apartment on a Sunday and falling into the arms of PB & J, the sandwich always wins.
lunge, v.: Love circles many times before it finds the drain; still, you should grab it as soon as you see it sliding.
lurch, v.: There is nothing graceful about my reaction to your pull on me; it is a tumble, it is a leap, it is genuine.
lure, n.: One of the things that attracted me most was the open, well-worn affection with which you talked about your best friends.
lurk, v.: The resentment stays two steps behind you, but when you turn to face it, it ducks away.
lush, n.: When alcohol is the couch you can’t get off of.
lust, n.: The perpetual wanting of you slips from the mind to the rest of the body, and the yearning falls out of my control.
luxuriate, v.: To allow your time to be less than filled in order to feel the fullness of a pause.
lyric, n.: Because I want my music to say something, and maybe teach me how to say things better.