Affection

I don’t know if being loved

changes someone, rewires

some fundamental code

in his programming, helping

him take his eyes of decadence –

the screech of a record player,

the confusion on stage as the

artist trips and makes a fool of

himself, the mistake-ridden

countermelody that ruins the fugue –

and focus on something luminous,

or if being loved

helps someone fit the other into

his ideas of happiness, thereby

creating something almost perfect:

a happiness that sustains and

breathes life into him,

or if being loved only

engenders a joyful

illusion, a neon pink bubble of

euphoria that lasts

as long as nothing pierces it,

whatever it may be,

being loved has taught me that

my self with its harrowing features

and scars isn’t the only participant

in the politics of life, death and eternity,

that love has an innocent quality

to it, a tenderness that can purge

even the most self-indulgent

person of his hedonistic impulses

and fill in him a need to reciprocate,

to acknowledge a shy smile with

a laugh of warmth,

to listen and tell the other that

she matters, that he knows she’s

there and accepts it with sincerity.

Being loved has taught me that

scepticism, by which the world measures

intelligence isn’t something worth

losing your soul over,

that nobody is perfect but

accepting imperfect companionship

when it finds its origins in the heart

is the closest thing to finding

something real with substance

and depth. Books and movies

may saturate my mind with concepts,

words may flow across the dimensions

of my psyche, marking their territories,

urging me to use them in clever ways

when I create,

but love helps me get away from myself

and cherish somebody else,

I hold her heart in my hands,

and nothing except sacrifice,

dedication and loyalty will do,

ultimately, irrespective of if love

is something quotidian,

a daily give and take

that most would opt out of,

or if it’s purely emotional,

feelings running

wild, stirring up the blood

and inundating the mind like

a tempest wrecks a tree,

or if it’s something beyond the realm

of senses, the apogee of

togetherness, the essence of

losing yourself to another,

I know that I’ve loved her

and that should count for something,

if not everything.

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