I need to be alone
but not quite so lone as to be
lonely. my personal
version of space is at once
as vast as the cosmos and as cold,
and as short, warm, sparking, and electro-conductive
as the distance between the atoms
of our skin, even when
separated by two layers of cloth,
or one when I take off
my hoodie.

I want you around
all the time; I talk to you
in my head constantly while
we’re apart – and do you do
the same? do you think of things
to say to me, save them up like flowers pressed inside a book, to fall out years later, forgotten? – and yet
sometimes it seems
I can’t bear to be in your presence
for the ocean of longing that rushes
through my veins, the blood-warm sea
magnetically drawn to its icy moon,
for the welling words that lap
behind my eyes but cannot be said
out loud for fear they’ll be denied,
canceled out,
stamped illegitimate.

as if you can cancel chemistry,
rule out relativity, pass
on physics, legislate electricity,
nullify neutrons, negate magnetism,
deny the very dinosaurs
and stamp out science altogether
because you say it ain’t so.
go ahead and rewrite all the textbooks
if it makes you feel better. I know
my feelings and the physics involved here
like I know my own bones, my own skin.
I have all the faith in the world
in science.

I’ll make space for you in this station
and bring my lonely rocket in
if you can open your own airlock
and let me breathe your rarefied
atmosphere. a little mingling now
and then could refresh us both.
I’ve been sending out the signals,
won’t you acknowledge and respond?

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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