We Didn’t Define It as Love, We Just Were. {poetry}


In a world full of brief encounters, I wanted to reflect on those experiences that are brief and impactful. When one is learning of love, relearning, unlearning and relearning, we need to remember that falling in love is actually a process of becoming unbalanced of giving up one’s normal process to find a new level of life and meaning.

It is the inspiration to all great things, stories, music and poetry alike, and these encounters, however brief, leave imprints on our hearts and minds forever.


I often get stuck on the words
But I’m happy to have loved you

In these days of the quick
swipe right
Of TikTok excitement
Of one-minute stands
Of ghosting
I’m glad you and I met in a different way

I’m glad to have loved you

My soul was honored to dance with you

It was to music I could forever play, could Spotify
It was Leonard Cohen and Prince
It was Justin Bieber and Rush
It was Supertramp and Ozzy
It was Billy Eilish and Wham
It had no rhyme or reason

Your height was security to me
A tower

Your hands, often clammy
grasped my waist
Gently but surely
You somehow knew the steps, memorized, mesmerized
You led
I stepped on your toes
not knowing the dance
I awkwardly did my dance as you did yours
Finding limited coordination
It was fun when we matched

When the rhythm caught up to us
You ended the dance with a kiss
The kiss was not one that said never again
The kiss on my lips was I will be with you again, my love

I’m glad to have loved you
The silk of your soul wrapped me like a
Small delicate creature designing, weaving its fine print
Until my skin was tattooed head-to-toe
Invisible to others

Yet the politics of life
Created disparity in the truth
The truth became the sword
The sword of 1000 men
Coming between us
Their steel-sharp swiftness
That we would not be won

I did fight for you
And for that I’m proud
Although my weapon was only my words
My intention, my promise
The horses drawing near
I panicked
The noise drowned out my action
My inaction became the shadow of fate
As they drew near
I drew out my last tear
My last plea
And the death of us
Was my casket
And buried alive
I was placed in the ground

Still… just joy in remembering
Days of dreaming
Laughter until we cried
I feel so blessed to have loved you
You were never my destiny perhaps
But for days on end
I saw you
I lay with you
I saw the world as you
I get stuck on words
But your love has made
Revelations beyond any marriage or long-term commitment
Your love is the gift
I will always hide away in my bureau
Bringing it out
When my soul needs life

I’m not going to say you or I will
Experience a love as this
As we didn’t define it as love
We just were
You have changed me
I am the princess of my life
In your presence
I have given back my title
But those days
That I got to love you
Without contest
Have been my best

I’ve learned in life we must not attach our whole lives
On one outcome
So I sit in Buddhist principle
Of not wanting what I don’t have

There is no anguish in writing this
No poetic angst

Until the next time
I reach far into the back of my bureau
Until I hear Justin or Billy
Until a whistle, a kiss, a touch
Brings this up one more time
I’m glad to have loved you.


Jodi WiumJodi Wium is a depth psychologist studying the work of Jung at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Through life and loss, she has learned where her heart belongs, and hopes — through her writing and her research — you do as well. Namaste.


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