Long Distance

You are poetry unwritten. How can I listen to any song but the one I cannot unhear? Jocular pokes, daring probes, callow mistakes. Your voice rests beneath my tongue. We had ours: room of light and mirrors, faux fur bedsheets, dewey succulents. Dejé mi zampoña y bandera in favor of stippled montañas and line-art men. Mornings así: still-dark alarms, stirring at my side, zippers past closed eyes and the ghost of a kiss good-bye. Days spent in absence. Typing Californian words in a Coloradoan atmosphere. Esperándote. Sunset excitement. En las noches te saludaba como un perrito a su amo. Keys turning in locks, hinges whispering open. Singing in the shower, air-fried crunches, fish tank bubblers. Rustling into bed. Siempre intenté but you were in charge. Hand gripping my arm, guiding me and my heads down, up, around. I grew to expect your reach. To plead for the greens of your eyes. Rogándote en silencio. Me mirabas sin decir nada, solamente las cuevitas de tus nostrils making the softest ruidito para que sepa que me sentías a mi, a mi, amie. Y finalmente al dormir. We never needed any barriers, just hands running through hair, uñitas acariciando espaldas y ombros. Te amaba de forma única: I could have done this every day. I would have. Pero se puede amar cuando todo el sentido viene de labios y piel, no de alma y corazón? A las distancias sigo escuchándote y suplicándote. Eres el sonido que se queda en mis conchas.

Hermán Luis Chávez is a Bolivian-American tending to the complexities of the human sensorium. A Marshall Scholar currently based in London, Chávez holds degrees in music and literature from UCLA and has served on the editorial boards of Cicada Creative Magazine and Spiritus Mundi. Their poems can be found in Barely South Review, Greyrock Review, and Scribendi, among others.