When She is Near

Her voice curls around my ear,

hushed like fog. Today’s sunbeams

fail to illuminate her voice into words,

leaving me held only in sound.


I stand, a stagnant pool, unable to breathe

as around me the world goes on. The earth yawns.

I am on its edge, eyeing the gap, knowing that

the other side is oh so far away.


Her voice is the bounce of a drum and I nod

in beat, unconscious of her words, unconscious-

my silent agreement. She may mirror me

in birdlike bending, heads nodding in affirmation


of each other. But I’d never know,

the phone between us, miles,

millions of miles. I think that space is too full

of vacant words for her to hear me.


“Are you there?” She sucks air in at my ear.

I start at the whoosh of breath so close.

“You haven’t spoken in a while.”

She blows a bubble into the phone.


In between sunbeams I lean to the ground,

guarding my heart. I don’t want to go where people

have gone. The grass is too wrinkled.

I tell her I am alone.


She hums a song over the phone which

I sing, unconsciously. Together the tune holds us

close, from miles apart. I realize she is here

holding my hand.


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