For Michelle

If it’s true that time is the longest distance
between two places, then I have been seeking
you across a vast and endless wilderness,
fearing that, even if I could find you and touch you
I could never hold you in my hands, and you would
slip through my fingers like water, like you had before,
when, not being able to see better or look harder
or be braver, I lost you. Like you were never there.
Just a memory, a ghost or breath of air.

And yet, after so long waiting, and watching
the flowing of time and events and people between us,
pushing us further and further from each other,
and you receding into the distance little by little,
getting smaller until at last I could not even see you
or dare to hope to find you, you were there.
Again, within reach of my arms, you were there.
And we were us like we were before, and
I could touch you again and I felt whole.

Just the taste of you that once, for that instant,
made it seem possible that I could hold you again,
and somehow it was possible, and now we are as close
as I could ever dare hope, measured in inches, feet, yards.
I am right here. You are right there, 87th star to the right
just out my window. I reach for you daily now,
but I touch only air, and the gulf of time flows between us.
My green light at the end of the dock, I can only watch
and wait, looking at you, beyond my reach, shining in the dark.