the distance over water

i am, and always have been, a poor judge of distances.
they told my mother while i was still a baby that i was
going to have extraordinarily bad eyesight, and as a child
i thought the cracks between the pavement would swallow me,
that the descent into the bathtub would break my neck,
and that grew into the fear of walking in cities and a love
for bubble bath, which i believed would break my fall.
i still see everything as though it were over a vast
stretch of water and i am adrift on waves cold and dense.
this inability to make out near and far probably accounts
for the fact that i am a terrible driver, and most days i
can’t even make a clean leap from bed to floor, let alone
from synapse to synapse, and it leaves the conversation
dangling like wrists cut. i have spent my entire life
trying to touch the horizon. but now i have learned that
even people with perfect vision don’t always see. now i
have learned what a single strand of your hair feels like
when i twirl it between my fingers, and now i measure the
warmth of your palms against me and measure the amplitude
of your body with my hands, and my closed eyes see farther
across the endless sea of your love and farther still.



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