13 Ways of Looking at The Distance Between You and Me


With thanks to Wallace Stevens

by Wallace-Ruby Morales

Among our decades together
The only moving thing
Is the distance between you and me

You and I are of three minds
That exit sign
Shakes the foil. Raises thunder in the distance.

Our distance tastes of the spray of the sea
Scores the notes. Gives the measure.

You and I
Are not one.
You and I and our distance
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer
The beauty of our promise
Or the beauty of our life
The distance clapping as a buoy in the waves,
“Ever after. Ever after.”

But stones fill the spoken air
With those low walls that cut grass fields
The shadow of our distance
Crossed them to and fro
And tolled on
Stranding us
In a land of no season

Oh, you landlocked, grieving man
Why do you imagine the only way forward
Lies beyond the horizon?
Do you not see how our distance
Has let our feet walk alongside?

I know the clumsiness of your hewn heart
The gentle raindrop tapping of your smile
But I know, too,
That what lies between us
Has taught me what I know

When we lose sight of what lies between us
How simple to slip anchor
Into the even ripples sailing outward

At the sight of our distance
Across the dinner table
Even your heart
Could beat farther and farther

You sailed away
In a single mast of your own making
Lashed to the decking
You mistook
The shadow of your sadness
For that between us

The flood tide turns
That between us must be waxing

It is us and all of our days
They could spill forth
And they could spill forth more
The distance between you and me
Sits among them

Category: Poetry