It seemed an honest question, sincere
if a little naive, but in her warm coffee eyes
I sensed genuine questioning, not the typical disparagement
from the typical wounded walker, asleep.
She had asked, simply, “Why love?”
I pondered the answer as the waves before us arrived,
dissolved, departed, as the throngs enjoyed the hot sun
of a warm July day at the beach. I pondered, considered.
“Why not love?” was my answer. Though
not an answer, admittedly, but more a tactic,
to stall, to consider, and to gauge whether her interest
was real, theoretical, or rhetorical.
“That’s a much easier question to answer,” she said,
“to avoid pain. Simple.”
I nodded to the waves, knowing now she was waiting
for the answer I did not yet have. Was it worth the risk?
For the sensations, the dawning, the fire, the moments, the…
life. But yes, there was inevitable pain. And would we
Then it occurred to me. I turned to face her, waited her
attention. “Life without love is dull.
And dullness leads only to death.”
She had agreed with my reasoning. We’d gone on
five more dates
before I’d proposed.
Six years later, I remain grateful
both for my answer,
and for her question.