Alysia Harris Featuring Bridget Barkan- Depth Over Distance
My nail beds are still painted “Eggplant” for you.
The eggs on your plate are hard scrambled.
Morning, my time comes a bit too early for your blind eyes, for your capable heart.
So I snuck over the sun buttered mountains,
Barely spotted your town of 9000
Entered your storied home and kicked off the snow.
Let your Old English Mastiff’s all 240 pounds bark in my face
Lick my black nylons from knee to thigh.
The marble kitchen permanently smelled of cilantro.
And your hands were huge.
With one thumb nail for strumming Flamenco, baby,
I could’ve danced for you all night
Feet like pearls aglow in the lights of your lavender candle
There was the labor of music coming from your room
When you locked us in
When you looked at me like my first name was “Now.”
My body instantly visible and pliable
We were naked and raw and it didn’t feel wrong
Our hips like a tide
There was a sea beneath us
Carrying the sort of love nonsense we spelled on sheets, cleft notes and
Time signatures and treble, treble, treble.
The first night, you weren’t supposed to undress me, but you did.
I couldn’t resist either.
Just like, just like the first time I grabbed your hand ten minutes after meeting you.
It was like this right here, this artist, this Autistic genius, this flawed beauty, this man who plants lilacs
And drinks vinegar in the morning so
It wasn’t surprising how quickly it all went sour.
You wouldn’t draw me when I asked you to.
Instead you inappropriately used the nib of your calligraphy pen to split boxes
To sculpt the underside of silence
And when you said my name over a bowl of cooling soup it lost all its definition.
I knew you were in love with a vision, just not the woman attached.
I was afraid to say the wrong thing
To speak strongly
Our last night together, you spilled your ink on the page
I rushed to fill the space with words
We were too holy to bathe
If for an instant the truth is absurd then
Amen to it, and amen to us
I didn’t care whether you were white and skinny
Whether you lived in Oregon or not.
Hell, I wanted you to need a reason to need to make it rhyme
All I needed was a one way heart
And a west coast flight
And I’m not asking you to change your mind
Just, just think about the depth when you remember the distance.
How 3000 miles is not longer than the moments spent between us.
Our next fight came quick on the heels of my return.
You didn’t call to say you missed me.
You didn’t call to say you cared.
And just like that, we were over. Easy.
I half laughed.
Didn’t know if it was the jet lag or if I had just gotten used to sleeping in late and calling you mine.
But the whole time, your bed was low and flat.
Scarcely six inches off the ground.
At any point, I could’ve stood to my feet
And walked away.