Once upon a time (or twenty years ago, come September), we took an ethics class in the Center for Campus Ministry. Dear Dr. Hewitt--God rest his soul--broke our class into small groups for the purpose of discussion, and you were in my group, sitting across from me. I remember my turning to watch him write on the white board: philia, eros, agape. Then my turning back into the fire of your eyes.
No one had ever looked at me like that, before, and I could see straight to the hungry but honest core of you. It lit me from within, the lightning-strike knowledge of who you were and what you wanted, but I was twenty. I wasn't ready.
For months, we circled one another like boxers in a ring, and it comes to me now: I provoked you from the start. I've always brought out your wild and bellowing: maybe because I've always held something back, just a little something or another you've wanted. You will think of me. You will come back for the more.
I'm nothing if not defiant.
The other night, we were lying tangled in the marriage bed, and I asked you why you love me. Your sigh rattled deep in the giant, rib-jutting cage of your chest, as from against your very heart. "Don't take this the wrong way," you said, "but I don't know. It's like I don't have a choice. There's just something inside of me. I have to have you."
You and I, we can count on eros even when agape eludes. Bone of your bone, I am. Flesh of your flesh. Your other (not better) half.
I do love you.
**writing in community with Amber