love poem.

Your eyes are made of the six elements-
earth, water, fire, air,
space, consciousness.
They are made of these only,
but they are beautiful.
Should I make them mine?
Should I try to make them last for a long time?
Should I try to record them?
But I know that what I can record
would not be your true eyes.

Your voice is made of the six elements,
but it is truly lovely.
Should I try to make it mine?
Should I try to record it?
But I know that what I can hold onto or record
would not be your true voice.
What I get may only be a picture,
a magnetic tape,
a painting,
or a book.

Your smile is made of the six elements,
but it is truly wonderful.
Should I try to make it mine?
Should I try to make it last for a long time?
Should I try to own or record it?
But I know that what I can own or record
could not be your true smile.
It would only be some of the elements.

Your eyes are impermanent
Your eyes are not you.
Yes, I have been told,
and I have seen it,
yet they are still beautiful.

Just because they are impermanent,
they are all the more beautiful.
The things that do not last long
are the most beautiful things-
a shooting star, a firework.

Just because they are without a self,
they are all the more beautiful.
What does a self have to do with beautiful eyes?

I want to contemplate your beautiful eyes,
even if I know
that they do not last
even if I know
they do not have a self.

Your eyes are beautiful.
I am aware that they are impermanent.
But what is wrong with impermanence?
Without impermanence, could anything exist at all?

Your eyes are beautiful.
I am told that they are not you, they have no self.
But what is wrong with the nature of nonself?
With self, could anything be there at all?

So although your eyes are only made of the six elements,
although they are impermanent,
although they are not you,
they are still beautiful,
and I want to contemplate them.
I want to enjoy looking at them as long as they are available.

Knowing your eyes are impermanent,
I enjoy them without trying to make them last forever,
without trying to hold onto or record them
or make them mine.
Loving your eyes, I remain free.

Loving your eyes,
I learn to love them deeply.
I see the six elements which they are,
the six wonderful elements.
These elements are so beautiful.
And I learn to love them too.

There are so many things I love-
your eyes, the blue sky,
your voice, the birds in the trees,
your smile, and the butterflies on the flowers.
I learn each moment
to be a better lover.
I learn each moment to discover my true love.

Your eyes are beautiful.
So is your voice, your smile,
the sky,
the birds,
the butterflies.
I love them. I vow to protect them. Yes.
I know to love is to respect.
And reverence
is the nature of my love.

thich nhat hanh

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