My entire life has been informed by the space between us.
There is the distance of my language and there is the distance of my touch. Across the room but glowing. The warmest I’ll get is further away.
They’ve memorized the muscles of my back
my pout and the echo of my cry-filling cavern
carved by the sound of my heels tapping;
retreating. Longing, and the way I succumb to holding, or allowing touch; recrudescent and poxed by them after a period of silence. Tarred by them after a period of respite. Not long enough. A period of cavern. Them, memorizing the color of my shoulder blades in the sun: tall and olive and taut from tension. Desperate for the light of distance. Spoked. Tall, and wrought with tension.
I am strolling. I am even sauntering. Til I see them, I am strolling, then nothing, then tunnel vision. Emptied, but not quite that: automatic. Spurred by instinct. The pervading eyes and I am (smiling) seeing the space close in around me again. Lifeless, watching the move of my hip go from enriched by dance to torpid. Dragged by shell.
I am a shell.
Clench your jaw. Tighten your shoulders.Hip goes from bouncing to dead frozen in nervous. (That means it might shake). The way there was once twenty feet between us. Suck in and walk straight. Swaying til I saw them. Don’t trip. Ticking from nerves, looked gaily upwards til I saw them. Don’t look. A pleasant thought crossed me right before I saw them. My most pleasant thoughts are false memories.
That means I imagined the most pleasant experience of my life.
Suddenly there was ten feet (I am smiling), then five feet (in reverie), then one foot. Suddenly the hand on my shoulder, on my middle back, the ubiquitous trail
towards my coccyx. He towers,
“you’re too pretty.”
I am smiling. They are a huddled mass.. So many of them with their fingers out
filling the space between us. I am smiling. Smile. They are reaching for me–
trailing their uncut fingernails down my tucked in blouse
and there is nothing underneath or inside of me.
I am vacant but I can hear the chorus, from
my safe distance.
“You are too pretty to frown.”