how will you measure love when it comes to town? you might like to weigh it up with coffee spoons, drinking each mouthful like water, like medicine, a spoonful of sugar. you might like to sit in a corner and mark the daylight that streams in through the window, mark how the sun moves across his face, his eyes. love is not a victory march. you cannot measure it by the number of flags won, you cannot measure it by the number of hearts lost. it cannot be measured by the decibels of sound, the number of chess moves made, the number of times peace has been made. love is not a war. it cannot be fought or won or lost. love is not a science experiment: there can be no trial runs and its hypotheses can never be tested. love is not a graph you can extrapolate forever from. love is not a maths question. there are neither correct nor wrong answers and it cannot be solved in three steps. there is no way to prove it and you cannot verify that one person will always satisfy the equation. there is no equation when 1 + 1 never equals 2.
but love is a great mathematician. love marks the area of a boy walking down clarke quay with you; the volume of his love is the amount of space he takes up. love is in the length of his fingers and the number of seconds his eyes take to trail down your legs. love knows the number of heartbeats you take when he walks past, love watches as your brain slows down and the rest of you goes into overdrive. love alone knows the length of the shadow he casts on your face while you sleep, love sees the width of that chasm that separates you from him. love remembers the number of steps you take away from him, and love knows that when one person is between two others, the hypotenuse of the triangle must always be √2 and hence an impossibility. love knows that the shortest distance from one person to another is not always a straight line, and that some people walk in circles only to find they have never moved from the same spot. and love knows that if you try to differentiate one from the other — there is no way you can integrate them back.