Today is Valentines day.

And I think of people with intellectual disabilities who live in systems that forbid them love and marriage.
Today is Hearts and Flowers day.
And I think of seniors residences that forbid husbands and wives rooms together.
Today is Chocolates and Candy Kisses day.
And I think of all the countries that kill, imprison or torture people for loving who their heart bids them love.
Today is Cards and Poems day.
And I wonder why, in a culture that proclaims love, in faiths that espouse love and in families that claim love, so many people are forbidden …
love
and marriage
and kisses
and gentle nudges against the ear
And I wonder how many people with disabilities are driven by love into basements and garages to meet and touch and hold … and how many seniors hold hands under tables and kiss when nurses aren’t looking … and how many people risk death or imprisonment or torture just to feel their pulse slamming  in their ears at the barest touch.
I wonder if love hidden, if moments forbidden, if dangerous meetings are the places where Valentines, today, actually happens.