Dehydration Fosters Disappointment (As Does Distance)

for Elly

It seems that if you miss someone long enough to encourage episodes of illusions, the extent of your delusions will echo another time against your skull
until your stars are appearing as faces
and your mile-marker of the months arrives as a mirage.

For a second, I almost saw you.

And it is this that supplied insurmountable motivation to alert anyone about your existence. I never get the count right on first impulse–
eleven months since I’ve seen you, and if we can outlast one year, we can outlast two—
When you said, “Also I’ve been praying for you,” it opened up the idea of seeing you for eternity, and I love the thought that this is not the extent of us.

And after what you told me, I’ve been hoping for someone who adores poetry to show up at your school.
If they’re anything like me,
you’ll know them by the way they think everyone sees them as crazy because of the expressions they have in the hallway
during the random moments when they start to recite a poem in their head.

You said it seemed like every time we talk I give you another compliment;
it’s because I need to know that you’re cemented in certainty of your own amazing qualities, and even if everyone else in the world told you the exact same thing, I’d still need to keep telling you, because I’m the kind of person who has to announce my perception of things, even if it’s only to myself,
which is why I read my poems aloud as I write them,
and why I had to tell her, hey, you remind me of one of my best friends, her name’s Elly…
And if your phone is rereleased from restrictions, or the virus, or whatever keeps me from being able to speak to you, then maybe I can tell you,
For a second, I almost saw you.
For a second, it almost was you,
there, maybe a blanket around your shoulders, or over your hair,
and if it was you,
I would’ve hugged you, but instead,
the scene is sweeping itself into a different color scheme
and I end up telling an almost-stranger about one of my very best friends,
because if anyone ever left you like that
and I wasn’t there,
you can be sure I’d be hoping that someone would say something.

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