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When You Ask Me If I Believe In Love

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Adrianna Calvo

“Do you believe in marriage?”

I want to ask him. This slippery little question…

I think about my aunt whose husband died, I think about my relative whose happiness has been sucked dry by that man on the couch who scoffs at anything that doesn’t come with a pension and a salary.

“Do you believe in love?”

He asks me instead.

And I am taken aback.

Do I believe in the rhythm of my heart?

Do I believe in the earth, ever turning on and on and on?

For me, there never was a question.

For me, I wonder instead – is this the good kind of love?

The ancient, holy kind, that presses together strangers into families, that knits warmth and kindness into communities, that reunites and binds and heals what was broken, that redeems and forgives and lays itself down for new life.

That’s the one I want.

I’ve tried too many other kinds –

The one where it is so big, it breaks you, your emotions wild and shifting, your eyes blinded by possibilities, and you go tumbling off that cliff hanger with such a rush of adrenaline that you don’t even notice the damage until you try to walk it off, and find that your ribs are holding something that just isn’t there anymore.

And the one where it becomes too familiar, too set in stone, too comfortable, when the future stops flowing and your days lay out before you like a paved black snake of a road, and you don’t have to guess what is coming next because you already know. More of the same thing. And – can you do that to yourself? For someone else?

And perhaps, the worst: The one where everything felt right, everything made sense, you blossomed into something beautiful, roses coming straight out of the garden of your chest like a fountain of endless romance, where you held each other with deep knowing, where you melted into each other with such innocence, until the outer world took notice and ripped you to pieces with a jealous shaking of its fists, rattling your gilded cage and tossing you out into darkness, and you realized it had simply been too good, too golden, and too perfect to truly last.

And he asks me if I believe in it?

If I believe the story of my suffering, if I believe in my most holy, most sacred of quests? I am seeking to bring unity to this earth, to heal others and connect – and he asks me if I BELIEVE in it?

Is it too simple, too telling of me,

That I merely say:

“Yes.” TC mark

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