Love and Its Ways (A Poem)

Been listening to Whitman all day. Feeling angry and impassioned and inspired.

And I found out that two of my friends who I work with are dating, and I started describing the moment a few weeks ago when I suspected there was something between them, and she said to me, “You should write about that.”

And I did.

Because poetry, like love, can’t be put in a box. It can’t be understood with our certitudes and pious explanations.

It just is. It’s endlessly mysterious, endlessly real.

Here’s my poem.


There is a way lovers have of being together

That announces itself even in discretion.

Here at the celebration of a friend’s wedding anniversary

I see two friends, a man and a woman, casually talking.

They are not yet known, their love is undiscovered,

But I see it.

The fluttering of lashes, the coiled tenseness of bodies,

The high ringing tone in her laughter,

His wistful yet restrained expression.

How they lean into one another,

Having not yet fallen,

On the verge of falling.

And I know that they both know it

Though no words have been spoken.

And I celebrate the hesitant glances,

The ripening affections,

Even as I celebrate the mature love of my two friends

Who today are renewing their vows

Who have been married for twenty-five years

Who love

For love is to be celebrated and all love is a celebration

It does not control or impose

It does not enslave or oppress whatever disagrees with its own spirit

It does not violate the integrity of the one who is loved

But loves it, celebrates its uniqueness,

Raises it to be what it was made to become.

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