DELUGE

after F. Scott Fitzgerald

There are infinitely many kinds of love in this world.

There’s Mom’s extra fluffy chocolate chip pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning after mass. There’s “Did you get home safe?” and “I won’t leave until I see you lock the door behind you.” There’s love that stays for good and love that leaves its shirts neatly folded in your bottom drawer. There’s love that comes back with a different face, somehow foreign—no, it’s the same one, just older. There’s kindergarten love, trading juice boxes at the very top of the playground slides. There’s first love that will leave you dizzy and disoriented, 18 years with no compass. There’s love squeezing your hand tight in the ICU wing, hooked up to humming oxygen tanks. There’s love with a wet tongue and floppy ears. There’s love on a speeding train, sticking its hand out the window, going, going, gone, and never touched again.

Never the same love twice, said someone important somewhere. Never the right kind of batter to recreate those dewy mornings. Never enough laundry washes to get the smell out of the cotton.
Never the same face, always changing, even after a lifetime of knowing it.

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