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Personal Space

delicate guardrails

dot the distance

of 24 to 168 inches between us

if we were close

like swinging childrens’ hands

only 18 to 24 inches

foot in plural

between the vibration of your larynx

and the twin rumble of my eardrum

did you know

in Argentina

we would be

only 15 inches


in Argentina

that’s centimeters

and in Romania

51 inches would separate the tip of your big toe

from the tip of mine

dwindling mercurial frequencies


do soundwaves conduct yoga

Down Dog from one ear to the next

do they make detours

but here

only a celery stalk fits between your nose and mine

and our voices ripple

down the xylem

but it is not you

I listen to

but you, I see

ultimate conversation conducted in the width and tension of the shoulders

the bow and arch of the lip

the curve and flex in the eyebrow


in queue

for my limited attention

I am glad

we have not forgotten

how to be

this close

how to speak in symphony with our limbs

parse out written, verbal, nonverbal, emotional, archival, archeological


drifts off in our shared universe

I am not sure if it ever arrives to you

defenestrating a poor dove to catch your attention

white flaps in dark white sky

i wonder if the words know the way to you

not refracted, reflected, ruined on the rocks

that lie on these 18 inches

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