“So tell me—what is love?” asked Socrates.
The banquet guests fell silent in their cups,
covertly craving inebriated naps—
until the comic playwright broke the pause:
“The Trickster Titan labored many days,
molding our kind from river clay by the scoops;
twin souls he devised, combined in single shapes—
twin-male, twin-female, or coupled ‘he’s and ‘she’s.
“Zeus feared the might of our three-gendered kind
and cleaved us double with his lightning spear,
then threw our halves to the dispersing wind.
“So what is love? A phantom-limbed desire,
a quest for something just beyond the wound—
an aching palpability of air.”