Ever since I can remember,

I was taught that love is nothing more than a feeling,

They told me that it's only an emotion that resides inside,

Even the dictionary definition defines it as the following:

"A strong feeling of affection. To feel deep affection or sexual love."

This is what they taught us,

Us as in my generation,

But they miseducated us,

So now we don't know what love is or how it can be felt,

And when someone says: “I love you"

We believe it,

But as I grew older,

So-called friends started to fade away like clouds,

They were the same ones who claimed to have love for me,

Who said they would be there for me no matter what,

Until one day when all of that changed,

On that day I was taken away by the deceiving tides,

Each declaration of love was a drop of water that fell until it filled up the ocean basin,

And as I tried to swim within it,

The tides took me away,

I couldn't handle its pace,

This all happened way too quick,

I was taken to a strange place,

A desolate island and as I sat there in solitude,

I came to a realisation,

In this place where so many faces disappeared and all I was was a memory to them,

A memory that they mention in their feeble lip service as they scream my name after the word 'free'

Only then did I realise what love is,

Its not speech,

Love is more than words,

More than a feeling,

Because if I state that I love you,

Its worthless unless I prove it through actions,

Love is a form of sacrifice,

I used to ask myself when I was physically confined:

“Where are the postal orders, letters and visits?"

So don't ever again claim to have love for me because I measure it by actions not words,

The more you love someone or something,

The more you are willing to commit,

So to all those who think that money can’t buy love,

Know that no love is real without sacrifice,

So if talk is cheap I won't be fooled by words,

Anyone can say "I love you"

But at the end of the day,

Words are just words,

How deep would you reach into your pocket?

How much time are you willing to spend?

What's the width of your sincerity?

How deep is your love?

Jamal Khan is an award-winning writer & performer whose work beautifully tackles significant issues ranging from gun crime to mental health.

With an impressive plethora of platforms featuring under his name, he boasts recognition from some of the most well established media outlets such as BBC Radio London & Sky News.

He has also been working closely with Island Records & MTV who have played a major part in the guidance of his career.

In the coming months, he aims to release his debut book 'Words Within Walls', a journal he kept whilst serving a prison sentence that'll detail his experiences through various forms such as daily diary entries, short stories & poems. You can follow Jamal on all platforms @1JamalKhan.