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simply be...

Love is not the way he smiles when it rains and she rushes out to dance. Love is not the flowers he so carefully picks each morning. Love is not the brushes or the paint, or even the canvas on which he paints her face.

Love is not the cold nights on the road, huddled under a bus shelter. Love is not his hands around hers, trying to keep them warm. Love is not the sigh of relief when they find salvation, that empty summer house his grandmother once favoured.

Love is not the flickers of curiosity and the struggles of independence. Love is not the rage with which he pins her to the wall or the bruises on her wrists in the morning. Love is not the tangled sheets and the sound of her throwing up her soul.

Love is not his voice, mingling with the whispered wishes of the trees. Love is not his tears, swirling in his morning tea. Love is not his lowered eyes or the fisted refusal to shout when he falls over her shoes for the twentieth time.

Love is not his letters, sent to no address. Love is not the photographs stuck into the frames. Love is not the space he makes for her, keeping her side of the bed warm through the night.

Love is not the harried way he stumbles down the hospital corridors, searching for even the smallest glimpse of her. Love is not his fingernails digging into his skin when he hears her cry out to him. Love is not the way he holds her as she screams, feeling the half of him torn away when she is taken away.

Love is not the way he turns from his sonís first breath. Love is not the pleading gasps or the reluctant nod as her fingernails scratch at his wrist. Love is not the boy who sucks on his finger for lack of a motherís breast, nor is it his apathy as he sits and watches her slip away, nor is it the constant beep-beep-beep of the machine that lives on her behalf.

Love is not the night-time wails that send him tripping to the stove for warm milk. Love is not the crap on his hands and an empty box of diapers. Love is not his son staring at him with his motherís eyes and mouthing silent accusations with his motherís lips.

LoveÖ

Love, is simply, waking up each day, still alive. Love is the silent spaces where no womanís voice will ever penetrate. Love is the fear he has that he cannot bring up this child alone. Love is taking the small hand in his and teaching him to play, walk, run and dance. Love is looking into the sun until his eyes burn and lying to himself that one day heíll admit that the tears are real.

Love is living, breathing, crying, fearing, laughing, playing, dancing, singing, walking, talkingÖ simply being.

And letting himself simply be.

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© Marziya Mohammedali, 2001-2013