• "Have You Ever Been In Love?"

    Austin Allen

    Summer 2018

    “I mean, define . . . so there are different phases,
    right? That first rush—‘limerence,’ I guess
    some research calls it—I’ve—there have been cases—
    that’s such a primal, brain-stem craziness—
    you find those neurons in a salamander
    (same feedback loop in heroin addicts, too)—
    so, yes, when we first met, if they had scanned our—
    well, I’ll say mine, at least—but is that ‘true’
    in some objective sense? To claim The Feeling
    feels like it intimates . . . if not quite marriage,
    something damn close, or else you’re double-dealing—
    sort of defrauding—which, not to disparage
    the whole ‘investment,’ but that implication
    fosters, I think, this culture of evasion

    even around the word itself, which narrows
    not just the discourse but the actual mind.
    The way the Greeks split up the concept—eros,
    family affection, goodwill toward mankind,
    and so on, like the Inuit with snow—
    or, well, that might’ve been some linguist’s bias—
    but part of me thinks that’s the way to go,
    rather than frame our—that initial high as
    either the main meal or a cheap hors d’oeuvre.

    Austin Allen’s first poetry collection, Pleasures of the Game (Waywiser Press, 2016), was awarded the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. He is a doctoral student in creative writing at the Uni-versity of Cincinnati.

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