Thursday, October 11, 2012

Retro Poem #15: I Know Not What Love Is


I love you.
I believe I love you,
Yet I know not what love is.
Is it an emotion or a feeling
As some define it?
Is love only love when it is worked out by actions,
As I have recently thought?
Must I know beyond a doubt 
That marriage is our future?
Must I swear, “For life, for death!”
As Browning so eloquently explains?
Is love only love
If I know beyond a doubt
That I want to spend my entire life with you?
Must I not say, “I love you,”
Unless I am prepared to follow it with 
“Will you marry me?”
Is that the only option?
O, my dear, I feel that I love you,
But I know not what love is.

If love is all these things,
Then I fear I do not hold it.
I am not ready to commit my life to you.
Yet is that an inherent condition for you?
Can love be so concretely defined?
I want to love you,
But I know not what love is.

Can we engage in love
Without fully understanding it?
If not, none save Christ has ever loved?
Is love all that we have said
And unimaginably more?
Can we walk hand in hand
Along the shores of this abyss,
Knowing we are not as deep as others,
Recognizing we are entering the same amorous abyss,
Walking deeper every day,
Letting love’s sweet waves lap against
our feet, our calves
our thighs, our waists
our chests, our smiling faces
Until we are completely immersed
And continue walking deeper still?
Can we do this?
Is this process - this long walk down the shores
Love itself?
Is the journey the essence of the love?
If it is, I gladly continue
What we’ve already begun.
My love, I want to love you,
But I know not what love is.



Written in 2000.
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