Distance – a poem by John Valentine


Let us love this distance, since those 
who do not love each other are
not separated.
- Simone Weil

You seem to see her eyes
in the vast afterimage of desire.
You carry her voice the way
a conch carries the sea,
no matter the shore
or the miles.
The same sweet rustling far away
in the wind.
The same soft hands that miss exactly
and only
what they miss.
And even Death is like a friend
who understands absence,
the beauty of despair,
the one pure poem you’re destined to write
to try to hold her
in the palm of the clouds
while the sky sweeps everything away.

John Valentine lives in Savannah, GA, where he teaches philosophy at a local college.

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