When I loved
I was atop
the world, yet
when I was loved
I felt beneath
the pinnacle
of she, the other,
missing the unconditional,
mistaking it for some
pandering largesse,
too self-absorbed when loved,
but when loving, all-giving,
selfless, timeless atop simple
essential knowing

To love and not to be loved in return
is the greater of gifts

cc: CC '23