four-letter words

Holly Brantley


a friend once told me that

love is a four-letter word.


I laughed. 


“You don’t understand,”

she said. 

“Love takes you stubbornly, 

            dragging you along

                       until you surrender, 

                                  and all that is left

                                             is the soul

                                                        you were born with. 


Love takes you quickly,

            grabbing your hand and

                       whispering your favorite song 

                                  until you smile so hard

                                             your heart resents your lips. 


Love takes you gently,

            with kind words 

                       and soft touches

                                  that your skin recites for hours.”


I cocked my head. 

“Then why,” I asked,

“do you judge it

so harshly?” 


She smiled, 

“Because you do not know love

            until it has destroyed you 

                       and you realize that

                                  you enjoyed it. 


I envy you; 

            I pity you.”