Is Love a Question?
By Allen Helmstetter
There is this silence between us. Or
perhaps I am deaf to your quiet voice.
As I look for a token of transcendent cheer,
just as I am deaf, am I blind to your love?
I spoke once, but hearing nothing in return,
I ceased my questioning and shed my joy.
Still, can we walk together down this path of
suffering and pain, as longtime friends will do?
I think sometimes the boundaries of self and self
almost are breached by our mutual presence.
But is this what the mind makes of another mind—
a conjuring in a mirror of fractured faces?
I stand still and wonder if I should trust and
go on thinking the two of us are truly here.
The content of my being is unknown to me;
who can reveal it now without destruction?
We walk through a garden of gorgeous colors.
They are content in their substantial flowers.
Yellow, crimson, violet, blue—together with
the sun, do we make them shimmer so?
The netherworld of green slips of leaves
is calming in the sultry summer air, but
my heart leaps with a promise given—
Do you hear it, too, or is it forbidden?
Rich soil clings to the soles of our feet.
Our footprints prove that we exist here.
Now may we breathe this earthly air
made ages ago in the birth of stars?
I can touch your face like the sun
touches the tops of golden trees.
If I trust this gravity of atmosphere,
will I be delivered from my fears?