One foot

One foot

spread between the fingers
like jelly
sweet powdered peanuts whipped in oil

like a wishful penny
into a shallow puddle
layered slowly beneath the oily asphalt
some summer monsoon

one foot and three thousand miles
such an arbitrary distance

memories fade in and out like a fever
the taut duvet of Tylenol nightmares
weighing down
opportunities missed
or not taken
regrets aborted from their soft homes
before they even had time to form an electric impulse
pulled and snagged and launched back into an old
dust bowl of a town

inside my cup of tea now,
I can see them swirling:
One foot:
(twelve small inches,
each one running only about a third
the length of my finger)
three thousand miles:
(one red-eye flight
with a three-and-a-half hour delay)
The peanut butter and jelly
spread over rye
(only a memory of something that was
once thinly sliced apples
and an untoasted bagel with whipped cream cheese)
not quite the same

you read this
if you know what I’m talking about
then you understand the consequences
the consequences
of distance
of time
of words that I cannot speak
no matter how hard I try

call out.


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