Love is

A free verse poem about my unique perspective on love as a person wrestling with aromanticism.

Image from

Image from

Love is

chocolate cake,

green walls,

full bookshelves,

a new dress;


Love is

my brother’s smile,

my sister’s hugs,

car rides with my mom,

talking math with my dad;


Love is

holding hands,

his eyes,

a soft caress;

Or, at least I wish it was.


Romantic love has never come easy to me.

I don’t float down a lazy river; I brave the stormy, deep, treacherous rapids of my consciousness.

I spend more of my waking – and sleeping – hours than I care to admit with a paddle, desperately forging upriver, praying that there’s an eye to the storm, a moment of peace in which it is clear that I can and do love someone like that.

But every time I think I’m close, the undertow grabs hold of me

and I fall


I’m drowning in emotions I can’t understand 

no matter how hard I try, I can’t beat the current

why haven’t I gotten anywhere

almost like I never moved

I’m exhausted, and all I want is for this nightmare to end


And then

I’m on the rocky shore


still breathing

surrounded by my friends and family and all the chocolate cake I could ever want.

They showed up. For me. They saved me.

And then the tears fall like rain.


Maybe one day I’ll find the eye of the storm. Or maybe I won’t.

But love is those who volunteer to brave your rapids with you, because they know how painful it is on your own.

I love my crew, and one day soon I’ll realize they’re enough for me.

I see the waters calming already.