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What We Live For

By Monterey Buchanan

Why do we labor so much over saying "I love you"?
It has become an industry, an art, a science to learn to say it just right
Even the saying now is not enough
So we pack it, wrap it, tie ribbons around it,
Compose great odes to it, tap it out in morse code of the eyelashes...

Why do we labor so much over saying "I love you"?
Do we fear for a human race without it?
Do we fear the loss of our own species?
We must not fear too much, for hatred kills so many and yet we don't flinch.
Perhaps we fear our own death, our own life without love,
That universal fear that if left unrequited
One day love will drag us out in the open, some unnamed ax
Will slice off a bit of our souls
And forevermore, a great neon sign above our head will read:
"This soul mangled by love and left for dead."

This is why we work so hard
This is why we spend, save, sing, write on occasion,
Live and die for a four letter word
At the end of the day, we need some memo, some reminder,
A sticky note on our refrigerator, a phone call from God
To remind us that we are loved
That there is something to live for.


Monterey wrote this poem when she was a high school junior. Her mother is a member of the Preemie Child support group.
 


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