poem: land-crossed love

Written 2.21.21, but finished the last stanza Nov 2021. There’s also one or two more poems in this series, which I jokingly call “I was ghosted and all I got was some dope poetry.” Working series title is “rocky mountain love.” The closing lines are a riff on Tina Turner’s River Deep, Mountain High. Cross-posted to IG.


I call you my land-crossed love –
we share the same shoreline,
pacific ocean waves caress our curves;
and we are also separated by 1,000 miles,
1,600 km, another border we cross.

If we weren’t separated by the cascade of mountain ranges,
a spinal column I long to climb with fingertips and tongue,
I’d say you were too good to be true: the kind of person
I longed for as I fell asleep, as I tore through cartridges of ink
writing in my diary, This is what I want, teasing out each side
of desire, like some kind of ten-sided die; pursuing what
makes me sigh with the same devotion I once gave to finding
what part of my mouth made my ex fist his hand in my hair
and call me his for the night.

I learned I did not do casual well, once my summer fling
became a four year affair that persisted long after I knew
he and I were not right for each other. So perhaps it’s just as well
that you and I are so far-flung, because I’d be tempted to
give you all of myself, go deep-sea diving without any safeties,
without first learning if my devotion was a gift
you’d handle with all the care, reverence, and awe I deserve.

I don’t know yet what will grow, but as we talk
of you driving the pacific coast to greet me,
driving together to peer down the grand canyon,
how you want my hands in your hair, not for sex,
but just for the comfort of touch; when the fucking
adorable gifs you send are studded with some kind of
wonderfully clear declaration; when you tell me you
can give me what I’ve always wanted: touch,
plentiful, freely given, so much I’ll never wonder if
I’ll go without again, I find myself thinking
that even though the future is so uncertain,
and I’ve never done a long-distance relationship,
that I am going to love you so deeply, so surely.

But for now, you slumber beneath
clear skies, in a cabin in the mountains,
just as my tarot cards told me when all I had was
a wish; and I am beneath the same starlight,
in a house at the other end of the cascade,
holding this small love in my hand, like a flame,
a dream waiting to burst into full bloom,
a lighthouse bright enough to call you here to me,
and sure enough to burn as long as it takes
for you to cross a thousand miles. And when at last
you place your hand in mine, oh,
ocean deep and mountain high,
oh how mightily I will love you.

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