Accompanying Tweets to The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan: I

Sunday, January 11, 2015

iamb, n.: Some days, every short unstressed moment seems to be followed by a long one full of stress.

iatrogenic, adj.: How scary to think that the attempt to cure can lead to further pain for us.

iceblink, n.: It is always good to have a reminder of sky.

icebreaker, n.: “So,” you said that first date, making fun of other dates, “why don’t you tell me a little more about me?”

iconic, adj.: In the same way that I could never decide on a tattoo, there’s no one object that sums you up in any satisfying way to me.

idea, n.: My mind is a quirky inventor. Sometimes it sees clearly, and sometimes it gets lost in its own devices.

ideal, n.: Foolish to think I knew what I wanted. You’ve surprised me; I’ve surprised myself. An ideal is a hypothesis always proven wrong.

identical, adj.: I don’t want our clothes or friends or dreams to be the same. I just want, every now and then, to have the same thought.

identify, v.: To name, and by naming, to hope to relate.

identity, n.: I will never solely be someone who loves you, but I will always be someone who loves you.

idiolect, n.: The phrases that will always be yours whenever I hear them, like “gosh darn” and “cool beans” and “true blue.”

idiopathic, adj.: Love’s a trickster making you believe it’s appeared suddenly, when really the core of it has been there all along.

idle, adj.: It’s pleasant to be standing still, but only for a certain amount of time.

idol, n.: Love cannot be worship, because worship can never be equal.

idyll, n.: The quiet of the country house; I stretch out and find you awake.

if, conj.: It only takes two letters to open up all the alternatives, for better or worse.

igneous, adj.: The molten rage, when it cools down, becomes a part of our awkwardly shaped foundation.

ignite, v.: This is tricky because we are both paper and we are both flame.

ignominious, adj,: Fighting in front of our friends always makes it feel like more of a failure, a disproving of our maturity and sense.

ignore, v.: The people who love you will not disappear quietly. We refuse to be contained by any blind spot.

illegible, adj.: Love often gets lost in the translation from the written to the read, so care must be taken in the writing.

illogical, adj.: To commit to another person, you have to renounce of your own sense of the sequential, the deductive, and the predictable.

illuminate, v.: We are written in light.

illusion, n.: Our fantasties manifest, and we encounter them, for a moment, as real.

illustration, n.: We need a break in the words. We need to stop and look at the picture, and silently take in the details.

illustrious, adj.: You want to be the famous one of all your friends, and work the bar to make us all know it.

imagery, n.: Two toothbrushes leaning into each other; clothes entwined in the laundry basket; shoes waiting side by side at the door.

imaginable, adj.: I don’t need you to believe in everything, but I want to you to allow that anything is possible.

imaginary, adj.: The ability to picture things that aren’t there; that is the true friend.

imaginative, adj.: The nights we were too lazy or too cash-starved, and had butter sandwiches for dinner, pretending it was Turkish delight.

imagine, v.: Love asks this of you, time and again – to conjure the better from the worse, to push beyond evidence to a more eloquent grace.

imbalance, n.: If equal affections cannot be, then the more loving one is definitely me.

imbecile, n.: I worry that I am so fascinated by the reaction to wounds that I inflict them only to see what will happen next.

imbibe, v.: You drink to empty yourself, but the demons refuse to leave.

imbroglio, n.: The beach is made of quicksand, the coastline teasingly out of reach.

imitation, n.: You think I’m boyfriend material, but I worry that if you look too closely, you’ll see I’m emotional polyester.

immaculacy, n.: I cannot conceive of why anyone would want to live in a place that didn’t look lived in.

immature, adj.: I use my sticks and stones to assail the allegation that you are rubber and I am nothing but glue.

immeasurable, adj.: The number of heartbeats we’ve shared; the points of connection between us, as plentiful as the nerves in our skin.

immediacy, n.: Feelings never happen at a distance.

immensity, n.: I cannot think of anything larger in my life than my love for you.

immerse, v.: Once you jump in you cannot jump in again; you must swim forward or swim deep, make yourself at home in this river of ours.

immodest, adj.: "I am the motherfrocking princess!" we sing along, one of us wanting to believe it, the other feeling it's pretty true.

immolate, v.: The love that burns will eventually die or kill, so I would rather aim for the steady life of warmth.

immortal, adj.: Anything that lives on gives us a glimpse of this.

immune, adj.: To ignore the naysaying around you in order to hear the yaysaying within you.

immutable, adj.: Nothing’s going to change my love.

impact, n.: You were the collision I didn’t see coming, but once it happened, the force was great enough to both alter and connect.

impairment, n.: Love will not stay silent. Even when it is forced to be wordless or soundless, it will find a way to be known.

impart, v.: My grandmother believed in dessert at lunch, that you have to treat yourself just for the furtive joy of having a treat.

impartial, adj.: The judgment we’re not able to have for each other, because there is always a part of us within the person we judge.

impasse, n.: When the road of tenderness runs out of gravel, we idle at the edge, pondering the wilderness of our affections.

impatient, adj.: I wanted to make out, yes, but more than that, I wanted you to decide to go home with me.

impeach, v.: The heart, the mind, and the groin act as different branches, and every now and then one foments an overthrow of another.

impeckable, adj.: Kissing at just the right spot.

impecunious, adj.: Some nights we’d leave our wallets at home and just take our keys, safe that wandering and talking would be enough.

impenetrable, adj.: I can make you do something you don’t want to do, but I can’t make you do it as if you want to do it.

imperfection, n.: Everything exists in this state.

impermanence, n.: Everything also exists in this state.

impersonal, adj.: Never look at me like I could be anybody. Never treat me like what I do could be done by anyone else.

impersonation, n.: You dressed up like Dolly so you could strut your stuff with abandon. I dressed like Laura Palmer to haunt the party.

impertinence, n.: The desire to push the haters’ faces into the mess that is your life, to confront them with the rude truths you bear.

impervious, adj.: Cupid can’t get through to me; my skin is arrowproof. If love is going to happen, its trajectory must begin from within.

impetuous, adj.: It’s okay for me to throw myself at you as long as I have a mischievous smile on my face while I do it.

impish, adj.: I want to make your life easier, but every now and then, I also want to tease or trick you into place.

implausible, adj.: And they all lived happily ever after.

implicit, adj.: After a certain point, my love for you should be understood as present, like air or time.

implode, v.: The strongest pressure is that which is exerted within.

implore, v.: More than anything else, I want you to listen. I want you present, I want you honest, and I want you to listen to me.

impolite, adj.: Calling attention to nose hairs, infatuations with pop songs, mismatched socks, or an affinity for five-dollar words.

important, adj.: By treating everyone in our lives well, we make the world better.

impose, v.: I see the rhetorical cages you spring, and I want you to know that you may get my defeat that way, but you’ll never get my love.

impossibilist, n.: It’s no fun to be with you when you only see what can’t be done.

imposter, n.: Yours are the thoughts that break into my mind and pretend they’re my own.

impracticalities, n.: You come home with a bright red chair, twice the size of our bedroom, and say we have to keep it because it was free.

impress, v.: Your good qualities leave an imprint on those who admire them.

impression, n.: My excitement is usually directly related to my intimidation, but with you there was only excitement.

impressionistic, adj.: Clouds in the room. Breath on my back. Diagonal sunlight. Horizontal silence. Door in the distance. Sideways blue.

imprint, v.: There we are, still in bed, even after we rise.

improve, v.: In relationships, there are always things that need to be fixed, but the house still stands with them broken.

improvise, v.: I’d come home to find you’d rewritten our junk mail, spelling out your love in credit card applications and Target coupons.

impudent, adj.: I found you were answering for me, and it didn’t matter whether you got the answer right or wrong.

impulse, n.: When it comes to you, I often leap before checking out the other side.

inability, n.: Even if it’s my own language, sometimes I can’t make the words make sense. I stare at you, trapped by my incomprehension.

inaccessible, adj.: When we fight, I kick away all the ramps and ladders that lead to how I really feel.

inaccurate, adj.: Love solves everything.

inadequate, adj.: The nagging feeling that I’m a C-minus and you deserve at least a B-plus.

inadmissible, adj.: I can, in fact, use anything you say against you.

inadvisable, adj.: Texting after 2AM is rarely a good idea.

inane, adj.: Our first concert, you said, “Let’s never be that couple that spends the whole concert making out,” and I knew we had a future.

inarticulate, adj.: See how love jumps all over the tongue – sweet, sour, bitter, salty – without landing on the words I want to say.

inattentive, adj.: Our relationship is a glass house, and you’re staring out the windows.

inaudible, adj.: I fall asleep and you aren’t there, then wake up and you’re there, and I feel a double gratitude.

inbox, n.: Refuge and prison, happy vessel and dread depository – do I hold it or does it hold me?

incandesce, v.: You are the light of the far-off town, the promise on the dark path.

incantation, n.: Let this be love, and let love be this.

incapable, adj.: I can no more roll my tongue than I can make the right words roll off of it.

incapacitated, adj.: When the doubt knifes into certainty that this will never work, it cuts across everything but the artery of despair.

incendiary, adj.: “If you leave, you’ll be happier!” you yell. Then, getting to the point, you say, “And I’ll be happier too.”

incentivize, v.: We vowed to never use sex as a reward, but it certainly informs our negotiations.

inchoate, adj.: Hard as it is to believe, these are still our early years.

indecent, adj.: “I want to dip you in butter and eat you up,” you say, to make the woman in the seat next to me stop listening.

indecision, n.:

indefatigable, adj.: I will fight for you. I will slay the dragons, banish the demons, and even step on the spiders, when I have to.

indefinite, adj.: I hold love to the same standard I whole life, not letting the fear of an end inhibit the fullness of the present.

independence, n.: I focused so long on my own freedom that it was hard to realize that a couple must work together to earn its freedom, too.

indicator, n.: We both sifted through our first conversations to find the telltale signs that our lives could align.

indifference, n.: The sameness of reaction that greets everything I say to you on the days you’ve checked out.

indignant, adj.: When it’s more important for you to be righteous than right.

indiscreet, adj.: I didn’t have a notebook in which to scribble your name again and again, but I scribbled it into all my conversations.

indispensible, adj.: You are not my heart. You are more like a kidney, or an arm. I could live without you, but I’d rather not.

indisputable, adj.: Yes, our emotions duke it out, but love is the defending champion, and even when it’s grueling, it takes the match.

individual, adj.: It often astonishes me that among billions of people, I am the only me in the world.

indivisible, adj.: You can find ‘invisible’ within this word, and I don’t want that ever.

indoctrinate, v.: You said we could never truly be together until I’d watched all four seasons of The Wire.

indoors, adj.: “Sex,” you stated, “requires air-conditioning.”

indubitably, adv.: Truthfulness need not be earnest; sometimes it can play like be-bop across your lips.

induction, n.: After a month, you enter the pantheon, the Hall of Fame where all the other members have the asterisk of an ex.

indulge, v.: To go farther than you think you should … or at least farther than you think other people think you should.

ineffectual, adj.: I know you can’t build a house out of words, but I hang to the hope that they can provide the architecture of love.

ineligible, adj.: All the cynics in my heart are eager to disqualify you, to prove your identity false, your license expired.

ineptitude, n.: Every morning, there are at least three things for me to remember when I leave, and I am destined to forget at least one.

inequality, n.: Love has no separate entrances and no separate laws.

inertia, n.: Both of us are too tired to change the channel.

inevitable, adj.: There are no exceptions to the rule of ending, so the leeway comes in how you love nonetheless.

inexorable, adj.: Pieces linked long enough tend to fuse.

inexperience, n.: Join me as we tumble and fumble our way toward balance and grace.

infallible, adj.: I do not expect this of you, and you should not expect it of yourself.

infatuation, n.: Gorging on romantic possibility until it takes up all the room of everything else; not healthy.

infectious, adj.: If hope is the thing with feathers, they certainly tickle more when you’re with someone you love.

infer, v.: Our past educates my guessing.

inferior, adj.: There you are, taking bows on your ever-present center stage. I don’t even feel like a supporting actor; I’m your stagehand.

infiltrate, v.: This is how love travels, not a flood but a slow accumulation. So much of me is now you, and it happened over time.

infinite, adj.: Our love is greater than our comprehension.

infinitesimal, adj.: Your arm rests on top of mine on the bus ride home, and I find such happiness in this small, unspoken contact.

inflexible, adj.: When we’re tense, we cannot bend. We stop being people and start becoming furniture. We need to loosen.

inflict, v.: It is so much easier to forgive the accidental woundings.

influence, v.: Once I met you, self-destruction became a little less tempting.

informal, adj.: Let your shoes drop anywhere in the apartment. I like you better barefoot.

information, n.: Worthless without interpretation.

infrastructure, n.: The things we build together are often invisible to the people who look at us.

infringe, v.: To finish the ice-cream I bought without me even getting a scoop.

infuriate, v.: I see the Furies on your shoulders, whispering not to trust me, yelling to stop me from doing what I’m doing.

infuse, v.: When you’re in love you can taste it in your coffee, hear it on the radio, smell it in the trees.

ingratiate, v.: I separated the wheat from the chaff amongst your friends, and then made sure to tell the wheat that they were the wheat.

ingratitude, n.: If negativity sometimes tightens around your neck, remember not to disdain the air that keeps you breathing.

inhabit, v.: You can make me feel like our relationship is a place I just happen to be living in, another temporary resident of your life.

inhale, v.: To fill yourself with the intangible, and take life in the process.

inherent, adj.: The plates connected long before I arrived; if I feel the faults, I’ve also learned to build flexibily to withstand them.

inherit, v.: One day all of this will be yours, and then another day none of it will be yours.

inhibition, n.: Even in the most private spaces, I feel the eye of ridicule; it’s up to you to draw the curtains and show me that I’m safe.

inimical, adj.: Time will inevitably bring damage, but if we embrace that damage as simply change, then it will not become harm.

inimitable, adj.: Are you the best kisser or the best person I’ve ever kissed? Either way, your kiss is like no other.

iniquity, n.: You weren't planning on inviting me over; you pointed to all the dishes in the sink and said, “I try to contain the iniquity.”

initiation, n.: In those first dates, it’s not just passing the test that’s important – it’s figuring out what the test is.

injure, v.: You never rip my heart out. You just squeeze and bruise it.

inkling, n.: I noticed the spots on the side of your hand, the pen’s effort smudged by hasty handwriting, and sensed you were my type.

inlet, n.: I kiss the shallows were your neck meets your chest, and feel the surface shiver.

innate, adj.: There is a non-negotiable me that will never change, no matter how hard you or I try to convince it otherwise.

innermost, adj.: I have to stop thinking of it as a secret and start thinking of it as a truth.

innervate, v.: To need the person you love to feel you acutely.

innocent, adj.: No one exists unlblemished by experience. We experience from the day we’re born, and carry that with us.

innocuous, adj.: If I say the first thing that comes to my head instead of the best thing that comes to my head it's rarely in mean spirits.

innuendo, n.: Do you prefer tackle or two-hand touch?

inoculant, n.: Sometimes you need to inject a little anger or pain in order for the love to strengthen in defense.

inoffensive, adj.: When I see you using delicate words, I want to smash them, because I know I’ll find more truth in the broken pieces.

inopportune, adj.: I only had two pages left to read in the novel; I know I shouldn’t have made you wait, but one has to have priorities.

input, n.: If you want to contribute, treat it like conversation, not computation.

insatiable, adj.: There are limits to how much I want to have you around, but there are no bounds on my desire to know you’re there.

inscription, n.: I want to write our names on the inside of a ring.

inscrutable, adj.: I tell you I want to write our names on the inside of a ring and you say, “Not our initials?”

insecurity, n.: If you really knew me, you’d never want to know me.

insensate, adj.: When you talk in your sleep, I wonder if the words you say make sense in the dream, or if you are scattering there, too.

insensitive, adj.: Just because you’ve numbed yourself to other people, it doesn’t mean the other people are numb, too.

inseparable, adj.: Everything is separable; it’s just a question of whether you can survive the separation.

insight, n.: How telling that there isn’t anything called “outsight,” as if language itself knows the direction that wisdom must come from.

insignificance, n.: There are moments that will pass and moments that will add, and the key to love is knowing the difference.

insincere, adj.: When you use words as devices of placation, they read the wrong color.

insinuate, v.: I can be the master of the cowardly accusation, gathering the flowers so I can deliver the knife. Call me on this.

insipid, adj.: After our days of work, sometimes we need to retreat into our reality-TV brains, to deal absurdity that’s not our own.

insist, v.: Once you build the relationship on love, you must require at least some of it to remain, in order for it not to be unbuilt.

insomnia, n.: You sleep as I am tortured by the lack of it, twisting on the rack of no control.

inspiration, n.: When observation bends back into me, and as a result I feel closer to myself, closer to you, and closer to the world.

instantaneous, adj.: First thought may not always be best thought, but it’s always a telling thought.

instead, adv.: If you try to live in alternatives, you will lose your present tense.

instigate, v.: “You’re being silly” is a serious accusation that will require me to seriously prove you wrong.

instill, v.: At any given moment, I can feel joy or fear, and you not only tip the balance but readjust the scale toward love.

instinctive, adj.: To trust yourself even when you don’t trust yourself.

instruct, v.: Teach me how to do things rather than tell me how to do them.

instrumental, adj.: You are the tune that propels me, the score that settles me.

insubordination, n.: I insisted I knew where we were going, but I could see you checking the map on your phone

insufferable, adj.: Your passive aggressive negatives: I won’t say I didn’t tell you so. No offense. I know it’s none of my business but.

insularity, n.: Let’s never be the kind of couple whose “us” doesn’t include our friends and the other people we care about.

insult, n.: The black hole of anxiety that forms when the thing that was funny is not funny to you.

insurance, n.: I don’t want maturity if it means being the beneficiary of your misfortune.

insurmountable, adj.: My love can withstand anything, short of you not loving me.

intact, adj.: We go through tremors but never unleash the full quake.

intangible, adj.: The best parts of us are the ones that are impossible to touch.

integrity, n.: I will not pretend to be someone else in order to make you love someone I ultimately am not.

intellectual, adj.: When you step back from life to analyze it, you may see it more clearly, but you’ll also be farther away.

intelligent, adj.: When you think from the mind instead of from the heart. Only some situations call for this.

intend, v.: Even when things go wrong, I can find the thread of what you meant to go right, and use that to rescue us.

intensify, v.: The magnets provide that layer of resistance, but once through, we speed toward contact.

intercede, v.: Sometimes when I pass judgment on myself, I need you to file an appeal.

intercept, v.: I wish someone would send me a letter so scandalous that I’d have to watch the mail each day to prevent you from seeing it.

interchangeable, adj.: I don’t ever want to feel like I’m your stand-in, or to see the disappointment when it’s discovered that I’m not you.

interconnected, adj.: Words from each of us fall into the same paragraphs, share the same story.

interested, adj.: I can tell when you put your own thoughts aside long enough to focus on mine.

interference, n.: Sometimes our love is the static cloud, but more often it’s the line of clarity that cuts through the intruding cacophony.

interim, adj.: I take it as a good sign that I’m haunted by your exes, but not by the hypothetical next person you’ll be with.

interior, n.: You hang the memories on the wall, but only look at them every now and then.

interjection, n.: There’s no other place I get my WOW! from more often than from my love for you.

interlard, v.: The compliment that is meant to grease is never as effective as the compliment meant to shine light.

interloper, n.: Love is the tender trespass, the unexpected arrival of someone else in a part of you that you never meant to be shared.

intermezzo, n.: I like it when we fall away from the plot, and just move in music from one place to the next.

internalize, v.: The things you say to me take shape within me: the adamantine edges of criticism alongside the welcome wells of praise.

interpretation, n.: I will never be anything to you but your version of me.

interrogate, v.: What does it mean that the question I want to ask you the most is “Why do you love me?”

intersection, n.: We strive to meet but never cross.

intervene, v.: I count on you to be the balance when I weigh on myself too much.

intimacy, n.: While I am aware that love radiates, I feel it most when it converges.

into, prep.: This into that, that into this; love is the thing that travels from within to within.

intolerable, adj.: Your silence when there is a need for words. I beg for them, and you leave farther than the sound of my voice.

intonation, n.: I question the constants of your consonants, and disavow your vowels.

intoxicating, adj.: To be with you at two in the morning, all my senses reach out and coming back with color.

intuition, n.: Nothing else is reliable, so might as well go with this.

invade, v.: I will not put myself in your life uninvited.

inveigh, v.: Let us face the hostile without hostility, and instead undermine them with our calm resolve.

invention, n.: Every pair is a machine uniquely designed to repair its world.

inventory, n.: Cleaning out your apartment, we kept finding rolls of scotch tape. “I always thought I was out,” you said.

inversion, n.: Love is best if, at any given moment, you don’t know which of you loves the most.

invest, v.: I spend my time to accrue your interest.

investigate, v.: When I wake you up to ask what the noises are, you don’t question it, and sound tender when you return to say we’re safe.

inveterate, adj.: I lie to myself all the time about how often I lie.

invidious, adj.: “This isn’t like you!” you tell me, and I scream that it’s unfair of you to compare me to my better self.

invigorate, v.: You fill yourself with loud music to inspire loud music of your own; I need quiet to give me energy to face the noise.

invincible, adj.: Nested into the home we make, I can believe that the clouds will not crash into us, that the quicksand is slow enough.

inviolable, adj.: I don’t want to share that vow until I am sure I can guarantee it.

invisible, adj.: I don’t want to be seen on the street, but you like being looked at.

invitation, n.: Being part of a couple means negotiating the evening plans, prioritizing the birthdays and the brides.

invocation, n.: In my hours of need, I will summon your love.

involvement, n.: “So you’ve become involved?” a friend asked, and I said, “Yes, I’m no longer a bystander in this.”

inward, adj.: Tonight, the tidal force of love pulls all my thoughts in this direction.

iota, n.: When it comes to doubt, why look for the needle in the haystack? What threat is there, really, of a needle in a haystack?

ire, v.: When anger turns hot enough to be molten, it is forged into a weapon that will inevitably be used.

irksome, adj.: Do the fucking dishes.

irony, n.: I thought love would bring me peace of mind, but instead it unleashed a new, confusing menagerie of things to think about.

irrational, adj.: You give me reassurances, and all I can do is wonder why you feel the need to give me reassurances.

irreconcilable, adj.: You have given up, but I have not.

irreducible, adj.: Love is a merging that defies diminishment. We will not fall through the cracks of our own lives if we hold on.

irrelevant, adj.: What other people say, if they’re wrong.

irreparable, adj.: The missing piece that falls off every time we break. So small it can never be found, but crucial enough to be missed.

irresistible, adj.: I love you like a tongue loves salt.

irreverent, adj.: “I don’t like the dynamic of worship,” you told me, fourth date. “I want a power that’s beside me, not above me.”

irritable, adj.: You’ve become the fly in the room – the annoying and unnecessary pester that I cannot avoid.

is, v.: I give you my will, am no longer my was. The now we have together is the now we are together.

isobaric, adj.: By lowering the pressure, we find we can connect.

isolation, v.: I feel I am not here, and no matter what I do, I can never really get here, where everyone else is.

italicize, v.: You slant the words to me, in the hope that they’ll make a better entry that way.

itch, n.: Seven years? Ha. Try seven times an hour.

itinerary, n.: Where we best lay our plans, even if they approximate our aims more than our actual nature.


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