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Sometimes I drift from you, observe you through a mist of cynicism: your unshaven face, the chinos you should have put in the laundry two days ago, the joke about being Russian you crack again in the bar. At this distance from you I wonder what it is that keeps me from drifting further, what it is that has kept us roped together all these years. Then, sitting here with you tonight, the pale winter sunset on the crest of the hill bright enough to tear my eyes, I notice the way your hair has grown over your collar, the paint from your palette on the cuff of your shirt.
There is nothing to work out. Love ebbs and flows. Even when I feel so very far away from you, your touch still possesses the power to steer me home. Your hand brushing the top of my head as you pass my desk, or at night, its warmth resting on my belly.
twenty-two years ...
sunlight catches the back
of your freckled arm