Long Distance Love
by She Flies With Her Own Wings
I had already fallen in love with far too many postage stamps, when you appeared on my doorstep wearing nothing but a postcard promise.
No, appeared is the wrong word. Is there a word for sucker-punching someone in the heart? Is there a word for when you’re sitting at the bottom of a roller-coaster, and you realize that the climb is coming and you know what the climb means, and you can already feel the flip in your stomach from the fall before you’ve even moved. Is there a word for that? There should be.
You can only fit so many words in a postcard. Only so many in a phone call. Only so many into space before you forget that words are sometimes used for things other than filling emptiness. It is hard to build a body out of words. I have tried. We have both tried. Instead of holding your head to my chest I tell you about the boy who lives downstairs from me; who stays up all night long practicing his drum set, the neighbors have complained – they have busy days tomorrow, but he keeps on thumping through the night, convinced, I think ,that practice makes perfect. Instead of holding my hand you tell me about the sandwich you made for lunch today, how the pickles fit so perfectly with the lettuce. Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Repeat the same mistakes over and over, and you don’t get any closer to Carnegie Hall. Even I know that. Repeat the same mistakes over and over, and you don’t get any closer, you, never get any closer.
Is there a word for the moment you win tog-o-war? When the weight gives and all that extra rope comes hurdling towards you. How even though you’ve won, you still end up with muddy knees and burns on your hands. Is there a word for that? I wish there was?
Still now, I send letters into space. Hoping that some mailman somewhere will track you down and recognize you from the description in my poems. That he will place a stack of them in your hands and tell you that there is a girl that still writes to you. She doesn’t know how not to.