Tag Archives: distance

The Gulf

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

You are sleeping when I come home.
The cat stirs from her nest,
butts her head against my ankle,
her motorboat purr the loudest sound
in this sleeping house.

The bedroom door always creaks
and I hope it will not wake you,
even though I know by now
that when I strip off my clothes
and crawl into bed beside you,
you will stir. A murmured hello
in the dark, fingers finding a hand
in the dark.

When I wake, you are gone.

We converse in notes and memos.
A scrawled poem, the sketch of a heart,
sticky-note I Love You taped to
a laptop cover, to the bottom of
a bowl of keys, artifacts traversing
the gulf between our waking hours.

Strange Geographies

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

As a child, I used to cut
apart maps of America,
separate the states and
put them back together
in strange geographies:

Kansas against Maine,
fling the Dakotas as far
away from each other
as they could go, press
New Mexico against the
breast of South Carolina.

I tucked tiny Rhode Island
into the palm of Michigan,
gave Nebraska a seaside.

I realize now the folly
in these stately migrations:
I never thought I’d wish
I could drive across the
border of Alabama into
Oregon’s deep woods.

Why I Hate Reading Maps

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

I have unrolled a map
onto my kitchen table
and put one finger
where you are and
another where I am.

The space between
is only inches. That close,
I could feel you breathing.
I could reach out and
run my fingers through
every strand of your hair,
touch your lips and
barely need to move.

In the corner of the map
there is a guide for judging scale:
every inch a hundred miles
full of roads and rivers and trees,
the guide a sharp reminder
that you are where you are
and I am where I am,
inches apart.