Seeing as Valentine’s Day is coming around, I find it fitting to ask myself: what does love mean to me? Personally, the answer changes every year, every month, and every moment I experience an unexpected moment of joy. Perhaps the wind caresses my face softly on a rough day or I notice a goose sleeping peacefully. Love can also be funny, serendipitous, aromantic, ironic, and cliched. In February of last year, I started venturing out into the dating world (after a much needed hiatus) with a fresh perspective. The beauty, pain, and ugliness I’ve found in the last few years asking myself these questions led me to write this poem on March 6th, 2022. I hope you, the reader, get to experience all kinds of love, like I have. Not only between lovers but between kind friends, between you and an innocent animal, or between you and the sunset. I hope you love with your heart and your head. I hope this Valentine’s Day is full of many forms of love and respite from your day-to-day life.
A Conception of Love
When I was too young to know any better,
I used to think love was only between a man and a woman.
But you have taught me better,
Your polyamory redefined the bounds of love.
Falling in love with friends redefined romance.
When I cook for you and we nap together because we ate too much,
What could be more intimate than that?
When we tuck each other’s stray hairs behind ears,
Or fix each others’ clothes before going out.
I remember how you fixed my collar before my first ever presentation at university,
How we snuck a quick kiss before I went up.
Just like you fall in love with me every time I’m in front of a mic,
I fall in love watching you be a gracious host to a band of strangers.
I fall in love when you share your struggle and strife,
How you trust me to listen.
I fall in love when we dance in your kitchen.
I’ll do your makeup,
I’ll dress you in my clothes and tell you how beautiful you look,
While I sit on your lap, smiling down at you.
I fell in love with her drama and bravado,
Saying her job was being sexy,
Her humor, her smile, her laugh.
I fell in love with that line down her back,
I fell in love with her sultry eyes across the bar.
What love could be sweeter than this?
Where we love each other because we can,
Free from obligation,
Free from the offering of my empty body to you.
My father warned me not to turn friends to lovers,
But why not?
Why can’t we be both?