You tell me this is what it means to love
You say that is love, this is loving
You point me to poetry
as a dictionary for the love language
And therapy terminology
to dissect this feeling

These my friend,
are conversations about love,
Not love itself
(And note, that I call you ‘friend’,
not ‘my love’)
Because I’ve read the dictionaries well
And I follow the mental health dictats
to use words as boundaries

Even though my impulse was
to let ‘my love’ drip off my tongue
like so much eagerness
& interest in what you think
and impatience for your acceptance
and need for your response.
Any response.

But my instincts,
finely honed from many conversations
grounded, ground down by much learning
On how one must speak about love
Tell me I cannot just call it my love
or you, my love

So, friend
what else shall we say
as we talk about love
as your words push me to feel it
and my lessons rush to conceal it?

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