Long distance of sorts

come here, come here, come here!
I want to tell you a secret!

look, look, look!

you see the moon up there?
I have a little lover up there!

you see, I’m in love with a cosmonaut
and he wasn’t very happy on earth

so he left. and he left for the moon.

and now the moon spins and glows for him and there are better bars up there with better gin and some craters have white castles at the top.

he says
people are so light here! and
I have a teleporter now and it takes me wherever I go,
and the craters are like mountains,
I can see them through my window, we go hiking twice a week.

he can’t wait for me to meet them all,
but we barely speak

and earth is blue and heavy and still home, for me.
doesn’t know when he’ll come back to visit
who would I see?

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Can I tell you a secret in return?

Have you ever seen the ocean?
I don’t mean like on the telly or
A picture or
on YouTube or

Really seen it, been there?
Seen the vast deep flatness of it on a windless day.
Stretching on and on and on.

My lover is down there at the bottom.
Deep down where air and sunlight are as foreign to the neighbours as
their total darkness and crushing pressures are to us.

Yeah, So she lives there in a small house made of steel and optimism.
She has an elevator that takes her up to a small island close by,
Where she spends her weekends and does her shopping.
She sends me their tackiest tourist post cards once a month.

She says she is happy, that I should come visit
She never says she misses me in words.
And I don’t write it out either.

I’m happy she found her place. So very few of us do.
I sigh looking out at the ocean from the cliffs.
I’m glad she found her place,
I just wished that my place had been closer to hers.


I wish too.
I wish my place had been closer to his.
And, some days, I wish that the moon would pull me up too, like it does with the ocean. I can be a wave. Look! At! Me! I can be tide too.

I wish so much, I always keep a dandelion around. To be honest, they’re a terrible business. My fingers are always yellow or very itchy from all the seeds. But now I’ve planted a whole garden of dandelions. Just because I wish so much.

And they look like little moons—yellow and silver and full and then completely not there.

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I know the craters are terribly exciting, and the teleporter, and the language classes. But things have happened here too. Many, many, many things have happened here since you left.

We have a new metro train. It’s really modern with big windows and steel grey seats. It’s a really quiet train. I imagine that Elon Musk might nod approvingly at how quiet and modern it is. It would remind you of a spaceship.

And I’ve started working for the radio. I talk about books and I make quizzes and I interview politicians. I ask them almost nothing about politics, but a lot about what kind of art they like. This one guy (Elon Musk would nod approvingly at him because he dresses well and seems to have no problem overthrowing foreign governments to get their lithium) said he likes Andy Warhol. Has Marilyn in the living room, has Campbell Soups in the kitchen. He looked at me funny when I showed him my Valerie Solanas tattoo. I imagine that you would’ve smiled and said “he’s a bit of a square, isn’t he?”

Sometimes I wish that the radio frequencies would reach you up there. Like a little surprise, when you’re out walking with your walkie talkie, on your way to a party, kicking around moon dust, feeling happy like you always say you are—like a little surprise, my voice would crackle out from the frequency into intelligible words.

I could tell you—in our secret code, if I knew you were listening—
that I had too much gin last night,
that I’ve been keeping really good track of my money,
that a Portuguese guy likes me and I finally know why there are so many words for beauty,
that I have frown lines between my eyebrows,
that I’ve finally aged, become a little more realistic,

tell you—that if you were to come back,
you could hold my hand in public.


Most of the time I feel positive
(about how far apart we are)
so many days of the month I can look up and even see you,
well - the moon
our choice to be apart,
you said words like ‘enduring’ and ‘strong’
but I?
I didn’t have any other alternative, did I.

But I see it more clearly now.
I see that two people will always be two people.
That all people will always be all people.
Life is a collection of interactions and communications and labels for all of it.
Love is a construct. Hate is a construct. (I think Elon Musk knows all of this, he appears a little unchecked at times but I think it is all planned).

I see you, up there on your moon, doing all your moon things
it’s what you wanted
I was never what you (really) wanted
and now that is ok because
I’m starting to be me again
I’m starting to feel what it is like to be an individual again
I’m starting to see things from your point of view,
I’m starting to see that you would never have held my hand in public
and I feel a sadness for it and a liberation for the braveness with which I am admitting this out loud.

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Is it wrong of me to resent a distance?
The number that stands between you and me.
It’s and abstraction.
But it is the closest thing to an antagonist I can find and I so badly need something to focus these feelings on.
I look at the number of miles, loathing every number.

It doesn’t help.

I tried to loath the ocean at first.
My anger a vindictive fury as I put my head under and screamed until my lungs burned like so much petrol.
In my mind it is a wall. A huge flat fucking wall between us.
But it didn’t help.

So I sit here on the cliffs, forced to recognise that underneath the anger, covered up by it, I’m really just sad.
And I miss her.

Socrates, Socrates, Socrates. The image of someone by the ocean.
We always think of the tendency to leap.
We always think, in favor of gravitational truth.
We can have two separate oceans, two separate tables, and we pretend that we can overlay everything. It’s very childish, really. But also philosophical.
There is nothing in my mind. I erased everything I knew about her.
She is missing me. As Sappho says, she will come to me.