by Sylvia Stout

The moon may be a quarter of a million miles away,

but it felt closer than you that day…

like I might trace its craters.

The distance in your eyes was far and wide-

twice as high as the sky and shining black as night.

Nearly a thousand suns had lived and died

in the time it took you to borough beneath my skin.

You’d bore your way in,

dug every hole-perforated the soul.

It was April when we first met.

We danced to the heartbeat of life in full bloom.

I coveted you like I was Spring

and you were the rain.

Though, time taught me-

wanting you was not the same.

See, the rain belonged with the Spring;

you never belonged with me.

You never belonged to a thing.

My hopes fell before you,

fluttering to the ground like the

last autumn leaves from the trees; discarded.

No need.

You shed me like a snake sheds her skin.

My tears clung to one another

behind the sanctuary of my lashes-

Begging to burst forth-

destined to become a billion scattered atoms

pooling in soaked ashes at my feet.

I wanted to dive.


For a moment, time struggled to keep,

hearts struggled to beat…

the bellowing voice in my head bled

down my throat and kindled a fire

in the pit of my belly.

‘Move,’ it screamed; ‘dry your tears and retreat!’

With feet and heart as heavy as lead, I

tilted my chin towards the heavens and fled.

It took less than a hundred dead sunsets to teach,

I wasn’t running from him… I was bounding toward me.