We Are Love

by Shaun Terry


Someone looks at me and smiles,
and their eyes are all I see.
I involuntarily, happily smile back.
I want to look away because that seems like the decent thing to do,
but they project warm love and confidence, wise naïveté and unexpectant optimism.
I want to wriggle free, but there’s no ground beneath me from which to push;
my limbs don’t work as this stranger’s eyes judgelessly read my thoughts
and gently burrow into my mind.

So I surrender to the lazer-focused tractor beam
and feel the safety of their eyes’ embrace.
Their gaze is a warm blanket, a childhood memory, an anchor in an otherwise chaotic world.
And I want this moment to last forever, but I know that it won’t,
so my brain goes dumb, and my body turns to waves of energy,
softly vibrating so that I no longer feel like a discrete thing:
I can’t tell where the frontiers of my body end and where far-off galaxies begin.
And that feels good.

But then, the waves crash into the wall that is reality,
and the most prominent features on my face radiate outwardly,
and I become aware of the heart pulsing in my chest.
And I wonder Do they do this to everyone?
But I realize that if I asked,
I might just hear their heart beating just as loudly.

Maybe we’d yell and flail,
maybe we’d end the cycle of negativity that’s characterized my previous relationships,
or maybe nothing would happen at all.

But in these seconds,
as we’re standing here,
not saying anything,
innocently wondering,
we are love.