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Sometimes I still use a cordless house phone. When I call her I imagine her wrapping an invisible cord around her finger as if she were only walking slowly the opposite direction as the cord stretched further. When she talks she says she likes to feel her voice as it runs away from me. She says that she wants me to believe distance is just a myth our minds created. When she held me I was a last box on a moving van. I was stretched out like piano wire waiting for a hammer to knock the breath back into me. Her hands forced me upward like keys pounding harmony. She is the hottest day of summer telling me to wake up and find water and her bed is an oasis. Our clothes scattered a mosaic across the paint spotted carpet. We read to each other from the bookshelf on the corner. The one that sagged in the middle until all its shelves were smiling, ready to laugh loose their stories. The morning she left the half-closed shades left cords of sunlight stretching across her chest and I traced them but there were highways, and she the smallest country. When she calls me she traces her breath as it spirals like a hurricane to the wall and bounces between cities. Her voice is strangled with 350 miles of telephone lines. The clothes we dressed our floors with for months have been stripped away. The room is naked now and the bookshelf, half empty. When I think of that house she is the only thing I can remember. Everything else fades, the room disappears entirely and I remember only having lived inside her. Home is where the heart is. The first astronomers who looked up there had to have discovered sparkling new words about how far two things can be. We build telescopes to force everything closer. I have built myself a telescope with bed posts and bathroom mirrors. On warm nights I climb to the top of my room and look west where the world curves her away from me. I know now why the myth of a flat earth existed for so long. It is not a story of people afraid of falling but of people terrified of growing apart, reading that if you stare hard enough at the horizon, you’ll be able to find anyone who is left you. But “listen” she says. The blind man on my block had his cataracts removed. He told me when he looked out his window for the first time he couldn’t understand why his hand was larger than the houses across the road. He couldn’t grasp how things look smaller at a distance so close your eyes. Stop looking for me in satellites fading below the skyline. Let us make this world flat again. I am always right here. This continent is just our kitchen table. These highways piano strings. The same note ringing resonating between us. God keeps our sight stronger with eyes that we will never see by looking in a mirror.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2012

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