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What it Isn't
by Charles P. Ries

I used to think love was
the electrical charge that passed
between the groins of strangers
searching for perfect union.
Later I thought love, mature love,
was recognizing the abundance
of space that circled one certain
someone. And drowning in this
tranquil pond of silence and rest.
Still later, after my first divorce,
I lowered my expectations, as
experience and life tends to make
us do, and felt friendship was love’s
seed. If nurtured, it ignites into
passionate flames – maybe.
After my second divorce, I
wondered if it was only the brief
predictable space between two lips,
two half opened eye lids. Just before
day disrupts the clarity of the groggy.
Now I realize how illusory
and without definition love is.
Transparent, weightless, out
of time, unattainable. A sun
that rises only to burn hope
from hearts exhausted in 
the act of anticipation.

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