you and me

An Ode to This Thing Called Love.

You are a torrent.

The clouds are gathering. Everyone moves aside to let you come through.

I am like a tower planted firmly, and watching fervently to see you coming from miles away. As you rumble closer, I’m wondering if you will pass or stay. The way you stir — picking up, swirling, teasing, resting and rising — entrances me. The feeling you push through me is exhilarating. I wonder what you want — if you are here to nourish or to destroy. You invite me to move with you.

My outstretched limbs suggest I’m built to receive you. Our dance seems divine. Upon your leaving, I am left dripping with your essence. You are a mystery, and I have heard legends of how full and fearsome you can be. This is how I see you in my mind, this thing too grand for a finite being to hold — a thing that could turn on me and ruin me if I were to underestimate it, something I must prepare for.

I dare not turn my back on you, Love.

I have decided that it is better to expect you than to be arrested by you. However, my intuition would mock me. I’m like a poorly informed meteorologist whom nobody believes anymore. “Love is coming,” or “Love is here,” I say, and it is almost as if my own declaration could chase you away. My announcement is like opening an umbrella in a house with everyone inside seeing my every move.

This superstition says Love is one who should not be named, and the eyes that watch won’t let me forget my blunder.

In my fear, I forgot your organic nature. You are best felt when allowed to move. The dichotomy of your infinite power and the peaceful presence with which you settle over me in the aftermath is stunning. You existed before me and will continue long after I’m gone.

Perhaps your version of my stories would be better left curated in the oceans you pull from to fill your low-lying clouds — cycling over and over, rather than a static thing leaving behind a sour smell.

If you are a mist, a hurricane, a perfect day, or a heat wave, I am not able to pin you down and that is nothing to be ashamed of. I am not a casualty of your existence. We were never meant to be at odds.

I give up, Love. I will let you be. Come if you will and come as you are. I will no longer treat you like death is your dark desire and assume it is your pleasure to ruin a happy parade. I will dance in your downpour, and I will laugh in the shadows of the shelter I take. I will absorb your warmth, and I will taste the goodness of the things you let grow.

I will realize you are not here to fight my existence, and not be afraid to establish myself before you.

Oh, that I may live in harmony with this untamed wonder, this thing called Love!

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Erica Bauman resides in Cincinnati, OH and has recently gone back to school for her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is a proud student, volunteer, and supporter of the city’s own Improv Cincinnati. She believes deeply in the beauty and stories found in the people and places she comes to know, that music makes everything better, and that laughter is truly the best medicine. She hopes to impact everyone that crosses her path in that they feel they are somehow better for having done so. She has most recently been published with Holl and Lane Magazine and Rebelle Society. You could contact Erica via Instagram.

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