Something like Love

My father gave me something like love except for the swearing and shaming. At least he always worked to support the family, though his money was perpetually scarce.

My mother gave me something like love except for the long stretches of neglect punctuated by outbursts of rage. At least she always cleaned the house, or taught me to do so.

My sisters gave me something like love until they felt insecure, which always happened sooner rather than later. I learned to hide myself in plain sight to let them take the limelight.

My partner gave me something like love except for how he acts with complete disregard for our family’s wellbeing, spending his time and money on whims to stroke his male ego instead of our necessities, but at least he doesn’t beat or cheat on me.

Perhaps the currency of love is like that: always a bit dirty, even if the faults are invisible to the eye.

Maybe I’m blind to the ways that my own love falls short, and those closest to me can hold up that sacred mirror if I am brave enough to look.

I’m sure I’d be horrified to see my own shortcomings magnified in front of me. But underneath my humanly errors, I’d also see the pure intentions of my soul, which probably look something like love.

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