Kelsey Torstveit – Poetry

LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP
 
I know the echo of your voice
when you are lonely and afraid
and you sound lonely and afraid
echoing on the phone today.
 
There is a canyon between us.
A real canyon.  I know
that I live on the South Rim
and you prefer your adobe
on the North.  That you don’t
want to lose me but you
don’t want to lose the view
from your porch of the sunrises.
 
It’s your work, you
paint them every morning
I understand.
You built that porch out of pale
juniper, with your own hands
I understand.
 
But I am studying the rock formations
on the South Rim, and for that I
must live on the South Rim, I can’t
commute.
 
I do want to be with you
you doubt that, I know, but I just long
for you differently, more quietly
I am a very private person.
That is why I like rock formations,
they do not talk, they keep me company,
they hold the wisdom of thousands
and millions of years.
 
But I am tired of waking up
on my clay floor covered
with woven blankets without
You next to me.  There are tumble
weeds piling up outside my door
scratching their way in.
 
And my body is only going to look
like this for so long and I would like
for someone to appreciate it.  I would like
for someone to appreciate me like the
sunrise. I would like someone to see the
sunrise inside me.  And not only the days when I wake
next to the rising impression of you,
pour luke-warm coffee and come to you
come and lean on your easel, the other companion.
 
I know, you say it every time,
The beauty! The rays of sunrise! The way it looks!
The way you look!  A sundae for the Gods!
 
But I only know, really know, stone. And
the sediments sink and settle at the bottom
of my cup, standing your cool pale Juniper porch.

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