Not to Hold

Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone-we find it with another.
—Thomas Merton

It is not easy, this learning to love
by letting go. Easier to grasp, to clutch,
to hold on, and in the holding believe
that we know, know something. Could control what is.

It is not easy to fall in love with emptiness.
To cherish absence. To caress what cannot be seen.
Hard to keep the palms open when it seems
there is nothing to catch, nothing to hug,

as if our own openness mocks us and points
to just how alone we are, alone even when we do
kiss and gather and touch. I had never thought
love would be like this. So much a practice.

So little about desire. So little about our dreams.
Not about rings. Not about promises. Not about
anything that could bind us. No strings. This learning
to love by letting go. Sometimes I think I will break.

And I do. Into ten thousand thousand pieces.
It is messy, this learning to love by letting go.
And so beautiful when through the splinters
and fractures and flaws, so much light flares out.

And I love you, though not like I thought I would.
There is sky in it. Oceans. Tides and moons.
It is just not the same as it was yesterday
when I whisper I love you.

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