I tell her that she’s beautiful, but I don’t know how to make her believe me. “Would I lie?” I think to say, but the rhetoric rings false. Of course I would lie. I lie almost without ceasing, all the time, about matters of no consequence and matters of great consequence. I would lie to her about my own name if it meant seeing her lips curl into a smile. I would tell her that the sun shone purple and that birds flew solely because they were overjoyed to share the morning with her and I would do it without a flicker of shame to give away the lie.

So I would lie, but I could not. About her beauty, I find that the truth is pulled from me without my consent. A radiance surrounds her, is evident even in the most mundane of actions. She coughs, or opens a cabinet, and my stomach leaps inside me as though alive. She is so bright as to be almost blinding. I don’t know how she can stand to look at herself at all, much less what she could possibly see that would leave her to believe she is anything less than breathtaking.

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