What is called Love

by Rob Schmidt



The moment before I fall from a great height

chest burning from unfamiliar sensation

My body melts into a puddle

two eyes

the only remaining organs

staring upwards hopelessly at the receding

object of attachment

People call it Love.


Fighting for possession

clambering over the bodies obstructing my path

arms reaching out, hands grasping


less than nothing, because I find in my hand

only a dead piece of myself

People call it Love.


Tenderness thwarted

transmutes into tearing talons

I canít get you out of my mind

until I control every manifestation

you have ever created

People call it Love.


My heat burns us both

I tell myself I give you a gift

the gift that keeps on grasping

snapping and biting


the flame engulfs me like a halo

consumes me

until, weak and heavy, I touch myself

and explode


People call it Love.


I cry for what I cannot have

for what is not given to me

as I push it away

seeing only it

never what I am doing

what I am creating

what I am denying

People call it Love.


The ache dulls

pain ebbs slowly

lonely moments in the night grow fewer

I think of other things

or think anger

but a little softer each time

People call it the fading of love.


One day a stranger offers a balloon full of color


My mother smiles upon me with unalloyed joy.

I realize love is a gift

I give and am given


Without expectation of satisfaction

Without promise of a future at all.


because there is nothing to take

nothing to hold

It spreads from my outstretched, open hand

unseen by eyes

caressing me and him

her and me

every blessed thing in Creation.

It is deathless


I participate in its propagation

The wave of infinite amplitude

I ride the peaks of exhilaration

I shelter in the ample, gentle troughs

My talons shrink to fingers

I give and am given

I feel and am felt

The urge to grasp arises

stark metallic hardness

framed in folds of felt

I love it

metal softens

I love it

hardness yields

I love it

breathe it in

its vapors bear soft fragrant gifts to my cells.

Love nourishes

nourishes Love

I love

love me

Hardest of all, simplest of all, best of all

I call it Love.