long distance

she said she thought she might leave
on a blue-grey tuesday afternoon
she flew away, just like that, leaving him stranded
bare feet on a tiled floor
as the toast popped up, unnoticed and untouched.
she tells him, it's not you.
but love suffers long, and heartbreak cannot be remedied
by cliches and trite reassurances.
yet he cannot help but answer the 2 a.m. phone calls,
cannot bring himself to throw his things in a box
and drive until he hits the sea and sand and everything is new.
they don't utter a word to each other as the distance settles in
and though the four-letter word hangs unspoken,
she is a steady presence like sunday crosswords
while he is peppermint hot chocolate and silver frosted tears.
plagued by parallax, they realize:
even stars don't look the same
depending where you've been thrown into orbit.
it's midnight on another blue-grey tuesday.
i'm here, she whispers, gazing at flickering technicolor lights.
i know, he replies, tracing a finger halfway around the globe.
they wake up one day and find that they are eighty-one.
are you still there, she asks,
kneeling on the roof of a lopsided edifice,
and he says, simply,

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