A Safe Distance

There is a space between

you            and             me

that measures
the exact distance
required
for a wild animal
to turn from deadly
to cute.

It is the kind of distance
that plays tricks on the eye —
blurring harsh edges,
leaving only pointillistic impressions
that tickle the most palatable of memories.

It is the size of
scribbles
coalescing into sense,

kitchen knives
mistaken for
wooden spoons.

Ours is the distance of i n e b r i a t i o n.

An astigmatic blur
bloating e’s into o’s
and misjudging lies lines.

The time it would take to travel from

Point “me”            to            Point “you

is comparable to
that satisfying span
of autumn and summer
before we begin to pine
for the pleasures of the other.

Or the time
it takes a new mother
to break that promise
she made to herself:

Never again.”

It is the breadth of forgetfulness,
of longing,
of doubt,

but not of forgiveness.

There is a space between

you            and            me

and it is not enough.

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

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