Even though I know you don’t read poems,
I want to thank you for calling me last night
when your living room was too big for one,
when all the ex-lovers were somewhere else
and even the kids were gone. Thank you
for calling me to say how alone it is.
For half an hour, we were alone together,
weeping and laughing in our separate rooms.
Just tonight I realized I do not know how gravity works.
Something to do with mass. And distance.
How much of what rules us do we not understand?
The vase falls and it breaks. We know that and learn
to be more gentle with our hands. It’s more
out of habit than true understanding. Our loneliness,
too, is a kind of a rule that we spend our whole lives
trying to change, but it is always there.
Eventually we come to see that everything
will be taken from us. Our aloneness is all that is left.
It is only frightening until it is not. Then it frightens us again.
Thank God we are here to explore it together,
this alarming lack of anything to hold onto.
When we say goodbye, it is gentle. We both know
what it feels like to break. There is too much at stake
not to love each other, alone and distant as we are.