appropriate distance

when we’re out
in public –
whether we arrived together
or just made our separate ways
to the place
where we both
spend most of our time
these days –
I sit close at the slightest opportunity
make every excuse
to touch you –
even just a knee under the table
a hand on your arm
when I’m making a point –
but you,
you keep your distance.

is it because
you want to preserve
that slim buffer of space
between our bodies
to make it obvious
that we’re not an item
so that if a younger, cuter girl
wants to flirt with you, she knows
you’re still available
and that I
have no claim
upon your heart?

or is it because you fear
that once you get too close
we’ll be like magnets;
the pull will be too strong
science will doom us
to be locked together
and you won’t be able
to break free?

or even that you can’t believe
I want to be so close
that I’m doing it on purpose?

I hope it’s one of the latter
but I very much fear
it’s the former.

if only you knew
that your touch
far from repelling me
instead thrills me
comforts me –
warms the very
cockles of my heart, even –
would that change your answer?

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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