Woke this morning
with fuzzy words coming into focus and replaying,
the leftovers of an unfinished dream.
I heard this phrase whisper,
“business-like relationships from
Often, the strange thought-flashes
upon waking are only a jumble of junk
that fizzle away into nothingness.
But, this time, I fixated on the idea.
Right then, it occurred to me
that most connections
have unspoken expectations
woven into their fabric:
They start with: “I love you.”
But end with: “You owe me. I did this
and this for you,” as if it were
a business proposition all along.
One party wants the other
to take care of them in some way.
They exchange benefits
and use the pretext of “love,”
as an excuse.
Then they jerk each other around
by turning themselves into power-play puppets
like Punch and Judy.
Isn’t this a sick kind of ownership?
A dungeon of bondage?
A melodramatic marketplace?
Teetering back and forth
with our perceived weights and balances,
looking for leverage,
a means to manipulate,
using the tender of guilt, fear, obligation, duty–
and we become suckers for these
But what about a friend for the sake of
a friend? What about love that seeks
the good of the other without thought
of payback? Relationships for the sake
of one another?
I got up out of bed, brushed my teeth,
and said to the man in the mirror, “I guess
I’m quite naive.”