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Almost Safe

                                    Melissa C. Johnson


Since you committed
to leaving the state,
me, our unvoiced love,
something has sagged
between us, stretched beyond
elasticity. This loosening
of our tightly held
rectitude has let me touch
your arm, let you call me
at home in the evening,
Honey in conversation.
But, always, an awkward
pause, a moment when
the implications rear up,
strike my hand, drip
poison into your glance,
when we have to say goodbye
without the words we need.

I could draw you in circles
except for your eyes—
green ovals—
and your voice—
a cardinal riding
currents of wind.
But I will never
be your center
and our love will never
be surveyed. It is
an imaginary geography,
that unacknowledged country.


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