Love is

Sandeep Sharma


Before he is born, when
In a darkened room, or a gold May field
On a haughty mountain, or a shore crowded with waves
Where a mother and a father, in waiting
Make ancient beasts of themselves, in hope
Of reaching death through lives they've seen, in dreams
Before he is born, then
That is the way love is

While he is carried, when
The mother watches her life change shape
Ankles, calves, hips, belly, breasts distending
As the ocean within her, like that first ocean, like all oceans forever
Starts teeming with a life that it cannot hold
Waiting for the waves to be parted, then breached
The father paces and frets in helplessness
While he is carried, then
That is the way love is

After he's set free, when
With loss and gifts, with chiding and guidance
With joy and sorrow nourishing his flourishing
He learns 
The dance of life with those of his kind
Yes, we are all there, you and I
Peopling his world with our desires
After he's set free, then
That is the way love is

He is wearied with age, when
You and I, yes, all his descendants
Seek wisdom and succour from his words, being and blessings
In the orchard of his knowledge he suckles us
Freely he gives, because feeding us feeds him
As he wearies with age, then
That is the way love is

Here on his deathbed, when
The claims of parents, children, lovers and enemies
When all of our clamour, heard from his distance
Is like the murmur of that familiar ocean
With infinite kindness the waves close, finally, for him
His spirit laughs and dances with joy 
Because, at last, he realises
Here on his deathbed, then 
That this is the way love is

Love is! And it is in this world
And it is in this world that lovers love and leave each other


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