Thursday, February 3, 2000

You profess to believe in love....



You profess to believe in love,
and on the intellectual level, perhaps you do.
But there’s scant evidence 
that you practice it on the ordinary, daily level.
Whereas I practice a more plebian love, 
but don’t talk about it
because it remains too painful a subject. 
I’m too sensitized to it.
When you came back from the retreat, 
you confessed to love me,
affirming what I already knew 
from the beginning.
You were like a card shark 
laying one card face up on the table,
hedging your bets even as you spoke.
(I can hear you denying it even now, Indian giver.)
However, my steadfastness (call it love) 
has suffered the severe erosion
of 2 and a half years of the shabby baggage 
of your insistent denial
which has taken a deep toll 
on even the ordinary affection between friends.
The real test of love is in the doing,
the practice, if you will.
But you’ve done little to change your modus operandi.
The business of denial remains central 
to the protocol of your idea of love.
The irony is that you’ve remained stuck 
in an adolescent state of mind
unable to step back to the next level 
to see the paradox that contains your love.
That’s why I don’t want to talk about love to you. 
It’s become an oxymoron.
You’re so well fortified,
having had decades to armor yourself,
there’s little room for change 
or growth in this state of denial.
I am acutely aware of the difference between 
how you treat me and how you treat others. 
Can you imagine being in my shoes for a moment
having to endure living with someone 
in such a profound state of denial
that I despair there will ever be a thaw? 
That there’s so little to hold onto?
But I do believe in the power of love 
to the extent that there is room for change. 
That love saves lives. 
Question is, do you want to be saved?

2/3/00