We are no better than bonobos,
defining ourselves by who we screw
and how often, as if everything we are
is distilled to those few inches of skin
and what we do with it.
No nun, but as an experiment
of self and perhaps an insulation
from pain, in my 20s
I belled celibate and free of relationship,
as if snapping that thread of mutual joy
led to something better than lonely
But it didn’t, and I learned it is less
who we love than that we can at all
that is the miracle
of this being human together.
Susan really powerfully done.>KB
KB, thanks much! It’s been knocking around in this head for a while.
to love and be loved is def the miracle…and that goes well beyond the physical…but yes there is a time it seems we are ruled by our passions & their tick ,marks…smiles.
Thanks, Brian. We certainly are. Strange that we sometimes let ourselves be defined by them.
Potent and touching, Susan.
Thank you, Lori.
loving and being loved is a miracle – in my teens i was mistaking sex for love and learned only later that it goes way beyond
Yes, Clauria–that’s it! Sex can be part of love but is never all there is to love–and the miracle is we can love each other.
Confusion here between sex and love, I fear. I’ve never assesses myself by how many women I’ve ‘had.’ I’ve defined some of myself by how many women I have been important to, and how may found me important, at any level. Friends, lovers, confidantes, the most important.
I think that’s what you’re trying to say. So we agree.
Yes! That’s exactly what I am trying to say. It’s not whom we have had that makes us what we are. It is what we can be together, and that goes ‘way past sex.
There you go. I’m not as thick as people think.
I would never in a thousand years call you think, Duncan.
THINK not THINK. My fingers need some help with the keyboard.
bloody hell, it’s my autocorrect, LOL. t h i c k
I do hope you meant ‘thick’ not ‘think’ Susan.
Very true and meaningful. We have to figure it out and self-definition is a lifelong struggle. It took me until this past year to understand what unconditional love is and I’m almost 40. It’s embarrassing really :).
Anna–not embarrassing at all…I did not learn it until I met my daughter’s eyes for the first time, and I was 33 😉
First stanza really pulled me in– I love the comparison to bonobos, the bounce in the verse, the implications. I too once tried celibacy for a year or so, but it never got me very far at all. ~cheers, Jason
Glad you liked it, Jason, and thanks for stopping by!
Love this, Susan… especially that wonderful last line!
Thank you, Laurie!
Trouble with being human together is that it takes two… and we’re just too competitive most of the time…
Oh, we very much are competitive, which is what makes the fact that we can love one another more miraculous when it does happen.
As someone who loves and admires the great apes, I almost took umbrage at this poem, but couldn’t. You make the case admirably, esp here:
“that we can at all
that is the miracle
of this being human together.” — thanks
Aw, thanks. I would never degrade our fellow primates–I was just comparing behavior.
Being able to love is definitely a wonderful gift that we humans have…..but I am sure the apes have some special ‘gifts’ too. Smiles
I agree fully. In fact, I think that a mother ape that keeps nurturing and caring for an infant that has died for many weeks afterward says quite a bit about their ability to love, as well.
Love is a miracle, lovely write.
Being alone has its benefits but it takes great will power! Being in the order has the added discipline and restrictions to contend with. Love and care is the ultimate! Nicely Susan!
Thanks, Hank! I agree that being alone is difficult; however, I have always enjoyed solitude…
I prefer all things in balance, when we can live that way.
That we can love is a miracle at all ~ Good to see you Susan ~ Smiles ~
Thanks, Grace–nice to see and read you today, as well.
Well said–and so beautifully–esp the final stanza
Oh, thank you, Audrey!
Very good Susan. A relatable read and finely crafted.
Thank you so much for saying so!
I guess passion is also a constituent of love.. But that is true; love is much more than just a fulfillment of physical desires. Love is emotional; it is metaphysical, it is spiritual…
Wonderfil comment–thank you for sharing…
it is less who we love than that we can at all
you’ve struck a fine nerve here, Susan.
Thank you, Jane.
Yeah, the desire to mate is pretty well explained by evolutionary theory–getting my genes into the next generation and all that. But love–what can explain such a miracle? Great job!
Nico, thank you!
powerful poem Susan.
Such beautiful words,Susan. It does blow the mind at the magic of love and being loved. It’s the best gift we can receive.
Thank you, Linda.
I think it’s hard to appreciate love when we are young and trapped in bodies ruled by lust. The understanding comes later. An honest, universal write.
Oh, Kelly–you said it better here. Took me a whole poem to get to that point.
This comes from deep down and speaks a deep truth!
Thanks much, Noel.