Complaint 55.1

Long Distance
by Carrie Moraga

what do I really know about you anymore, my memories
of a boy in glasses, frustrated at the table, pencil in hand —
algebra it was, then other things
words scribbled in the margins
or not, your thoughts kept in secret mumblings
headphones on, in your room, alone

years passed
we are both grown now

we sat in the middle of the restaurant
in nervous greeting and careful optimism
blind to each other, you said
our names, more familiar than our bodies
but we did the slow work: that game of catch-up,
that relaxation into joking

we’ve both been through this before
with other faces, other times

sometimes in our speaking, you say the kind thing
and I am drained of all sense

it is good that I am here and you are there
that this distance between us, like the years,
keeps me slow — I am too tempted by your
ground, too full of old hope

what do I really know anyway, these conversations
with you, a man now, files in hand —
law it was, then other things
ambitions writ into notebooks,
your thoughts remembered in our nighttime ramblings
I, in my room, alone

and your voice, still, on the phone

Carrie Moraga grew up in Azusa, California. This is her first publication.

Image by jamsthebest at Pixabay.

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