At different moments throughout the day (and sometimes the same) they will reach for their phones, a reflexive text forming in their fingers that stops somewhere before the keys. Desire is put back in the pocket reluctantly as fingers twitch with observations of sky and city that remain unsent.
At different moments (and sometimes the same) they will see a glimpse of the other in a crowd, some flash of shoulder, some glance of hair, and they will trip mid-step before righting themselves and adjusting their eyes and hammering hearts to the smaller mouths and longer legs that in the throng could have been.
At different moments (and sometimes the same) when he is pouring the wine or she is making the bed they will encounter a dull ache to the bones and the muscle, and the world will constrict just a little as they try to breathe out the sadness through the first sip and the smoothed sheet.
At different moments and often the same they will wonder whether the other is travelling just as slowly through the minefield of their past. And each will wonder for just a moment if the other might too prefer an explosion to the quiet terms of this resistance.
Hi readers! I first wrote and published this little piece a full year ago, and I was struck today at just how much of what I felt at the time still holds true for me. It can be a day, a month, or a year and you still have to train yourself out of contacting that person, you still have to push back your instinct to reach out. It takes constant effort to stay away from what you have loved.
So much of love is permission. This poem is about what you are left with when the offer is rescinded … and the small hope that in the aftermath, you are not the only one left wanting what you once had.
Image: Joanne Piechota