I’ll Never Be Her

When she thinks of safety, she pictures your arms going round her body, and a million men a million miles away, and the campus monitor at your college.
When she thinks of what to wear, she gets to choose from prom dresses and colorful makeup and anything that reflects outward beauty upon herself.
When she thinks of love, she thinks of you.

When I think of safety, I think of all of the men and women who’ve got my back, and the fact they know that I’ve got theirs. (Knowing how to defend myself doesn’t hurt either.)
When I think of what to wear, I get to choose from a handful of outfits with my name and my service’s name on them, and they’re built for utility, unlike her clothes.
When I think of love, I think of my country, and the light from the sun shining through the American flag, not shadowing me, but protecting me from harm. When I think of love, I think of my brothers and sisters on land, in the sky, and at sea. When I think of love, I think of sacrifice, and every connotation that comes with it, to protect my family and my friends. When I think of love, I still think of you, though I’ve got a bigger heart to give than her.

I’m not one to compare myself to others, and why am I starting now? I still want that prom dress that makes me look beautiful. I have an ill-fitted uniform I can wear to a ball. I have a rifle and I have a flag to carry. I have a duty to the country I love and I will always choose her over you, her over myself. Where you may have failed me, I will always have my expectations exceeded by my America.