Let us begin with a simple analogy.
Love is like a hurricane, constantly turning, twisting, destroying.
With a terrible shriek,
it tears through time and reason,
indifferent to the gaping hole,
the terror it leaves behind.

  Love is like a skyscraper, ugly and magnificent and terrorizing;
reaching out, up, above, rearing its metal-and-glass skull skyward
to roar defiance at the clouds in absolute silence.
It is when a foreigner glides into my territory, my skyline.
It is when they crash into me, falling, burning; burning me down with them;
the flames clinging to my insides, a sweet painful inferno raging inside me.

  Dust and earth from a hundred decades,
a thousand years,
a billion seconds of self-defence and lonely disuse
pervades the quiescent air,
unsympathetic even while we fall screaming back to life.

  Love is like the eye of the storm:
A brief pause in the wind’s onslaught,
a gentle downpour of words full of promise and dishonesty
and an impurity of the brain that
never should have existed but perseveres anyway;
and despite all our demands for it to shut up and stay down,
it still runs out into tsunamis and warzones and burning groves,
sweet past home of my heart.

  Left in the dark, we can only croon
“Don’t forget your coat!”
or perhaps even
“Don’t take candy from strangers!”
as though speaking to a child, full knowing that it will do it anyway.

  On the topic of Don’t, love is just that in disguise:
Don’t forget to pick up the laundry,
don’t leave the baby unattended,
don’t give power tools to violent children,
don’t burn the kitchen down with hairspray and matches,
don’t strangle your daughter with your own hair,
don’t drown the neighbor’s grandfather in a kiddy pool,
don’t forget to floss to get the flesh caught between your teeth,
and don’t write a list of Don’ts to keep yourself in line “or else”.

  That’s another two-edged phrase Love charades as. “Or Else.”
Or else what? Or else you will never speak to me again?
Or else you will put me in the corner, cloistered away from the world?
Or else you will tie me down and steal all that cannot be given back?
Or else you will cry when I do not respond,
wailing apologies and ripping hair like a madman possessed like children in a textile mill,
all their little scalps torn unwanted from their heads by the wheels of despair?
Or else what?

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