—Museum caption on the statue of a female deity, recently
Again this wobbling dread, this discombobulated pang, as though my armature’s been bent, or the scale is slightly different between my torso and my alabaster head. What so upsetting? Really, this trip you’re packing for—it jars me less than your insistence parting isn’t torture. We touch, divided by no distance miles can measure. You say I should relax: whatever seas sleep rocks you on, my arms fathom you through dreams removal from me never wrecks. And once your travels start, each night apart sails you closer home; a journey’s soonest finished once begun. “When a person who must embarks, tears only worsen the going.” Can being cavalier appease such sadness? I say your logic sucks. It sucks my salty heart (no stone, although until I met you it was marble). Departure’s glacial arrival shatters me. I’d meet its blue expanse with you, and with you stare it down; to you and you alone I’d bare a face sorrow’s freezing rain carves channels down—but then your breezy stance abandons me before your body leaves. Alone, I shiver on the brink of maudlin. Still, I’m learning. After all your goings, I find balancing’s a skill that practice hones. It’s true my poise is largely ruse, dependent on some borrowed fragment cobbled with cement, but I finesse my gaps so they resemble grace. Even you I’m closest to no longer notice if my kilter skews, or the pucker quivers as I blow this kiss goodbye from your resolute goddess.