If not love, then what?

by Bonnie Pockley

‘…I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
 I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

– Pablo Neruda, sonnet XVII


These kids fight. I mean, really fight. They bite each other and tear at each other’s hair. They hurt each other with great and pre-meditated force. It’s brutal. Most of the time, they want the same thing at the same time, your full attention and uncompromised free-reign. Then, within it all, is something else. Something more present, more tangible and ever-ready: a loyalty stronger than any other, forgiveness that is ernest and overflowing and a closeness that is incomparable. If this isn’t love, then what?