You’re not picking up. Of the million simple explanations for your unanswered phone, I decide you no longer exist. I wonder, in fact, if you—if any of us—ever existed. There’s so much space within us, so little stuff, we’re more like wind. Particles hopelessly small, unbridgeable the distance between them, the whole thin cobweb-in-vapor so nearly intangible, it’s a wonder we feel anything at all. So how do you hurt me so easily? Walk into the Astrodome with a teabag in your pocket. Boil a spoon of water while you’re there and walk back out. The tea you leave behind is about right for the likes of us. You’re probably shopping or walking the dog or taking a nap with the covers pulled up and the phone disconnected. I miss that. Or do you know it’s me calling and you just don’t want to have The Conversation again? What happens when we touch? Is that skin I feel? Or do forces along your outer edge repel my outermost atoms and bend my fingertip like a rubber glove that pops back out when I pull away; and is that bending the shape of your reluctance? It’s no surprise we have to slap each other to get a reaction. Exactly how close do I have to get to the woman I love before you dissolve into ether flecked with motes of dust? Already if I gaze on you too long or too near, or for that matter question your behavior, the parts of you I recognize vanish. An inch too close, a mile too far, and we cease to be. I promise if you answer the phone I will never question what makes us want to share the same rooms. Hi. It’s me. Just wanted to hear your voice.

Copyright © January 21, 2007 David Hodges

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