I wonder what love feels like.
I keep trying to find love in the nooks and crannies of my life. On moonless nights in a city whose landscape is forever lit, I try to find love within the stars. I try to find it in the long forgotten yaps of a fox kit who once made the hill next to my house their home. I try to place love in that box that has no label on it and find that I might need a bigger box. I try to taste love on my tongue as I scarf down my mother’s cooking or inhale the last of her scent on the stolen shawl. I try to pinpoint the love in swirl of fierce protectiveness I have over my sister. I don’t know how or where to find the love behind my father’s words and hopes, I know it must be lurking in the shadows.
The thing is, I find love in all these places and I find love in none of them. Love isn’t a singular emotion. It’s a cacophony of a hundred other emotions all clamouring to be heard over the other. It’s a tiresome thing, so frail and worrying. It’s tinged with regret, envy, anxiousness, despair and anger. Why did you stay away for so long? Why did you not come sooner? Why did you leave? When will you leave again?
I don’t feel the butterflies poets talk about. I used to. I felt them when he would smile or when I made her laugh. I don’t know if I will ever love again. Maybe we are all capable of a certain amount of love in our lifetime, maybe the chemical reaction that makes the butterflies flutter happen only so often. Maybe I used up all of mine and now I am left looking to borrow it from the moon or the stars.
I don’t know how to love. Maybe I did or maybe I never realized how good I was at faking it. I have a list of maybe’s that is never-ending. Maybe that’s where I left my love?
You find me in the embrace of nostalgia and a sense that I don’t know how to love another person (at least not romantically).