blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

What love isn’t

(Inspired by Valentine’s day)

dagon via pixabay


He thought he could buy the secret. But buying books is not the same as knowing.

He thought he could study the secret. But reading is not the same as doing.

He thought he could borrow the secret. But reciting poetry, even with a flourish, is not the same as feeling its truth.

(He thought he knew what love is)

He sought its pale shadow, in accumulated volumes and olden sonnets and cloying champagne truffles and twelve overpriced florist’s red without scent.

He mistook the token for the treasure itself, and it slipped unseen from his grasp.

He sated an appetite, and mistook it for deep satisfaction.

He felt a candle’s glow, and mistook it for the heat of the sun.

(He had never truly known it)

The sudden thrill running through your veins like lightning. The light of stars reflected in another’s eyes. The tears and smiles and rage and tenderness. The betrayals and reconciliations of love, its ebb and flow, its change and its constancy.

The words, the paintings, the gifts, mere echoes of reality.

Love defies attempts to capture and confine it, eludes definition, stirs us soul-deep and for time eternal.

To love is to burn.
Any poet knows.

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