The New Poetry Project: "The plateau"
I cradle the warm phone in my palm, a tiny replacement for you, whose words and face come across the wide, flat plains from a city at the edge of the mountains. From a sea of choices and proximity, your hello remains a lasting surprise. Some nights, when the want of you is too strong, I sleep and ascend into the aether, find you in the dream city I’ve created just for us. Everyone we love is there, even the parrot who flies free in the guava trees and calls your name. The night I waited for you to come, the pale lights of Denver glowing against the sky, I was certain I had made a mistake, made this too real for you. But in the morning you arrive wearing the famous red shirt, kiss me, undress me, and I see the want in your eyes is the same as mine. All these miles have not been in vain, and maybe for a few hours our loneliness will strike sparks. After we’ve made love, after I’ve etched you – body, face, eyes, gaps between your teeth – into my memory, I am back at the window watching you ride away toward the event horizon where you never quite disappear. I imagine us standing on a plateau where the distance doesn’t break wide between us. If I asked you, would you stay there with me until the sky opens its mouth, swallows us, spirits us away? I don’t care where we wind up – Bogotá or Atlanta, Denver or dream city – as long as now is good enough, where we can put down the phones, hold each other, where the moon is a giant eye that sees us, guides us to whatever comes next. My simpatico, my inmarcesible.
This poem is the last of eight new works that have appeared at Modern Confessional and across social media during the past six months. Read the other poems: The Masquerade, Acid Flashback #2, Things to do in Denver when you'd rather be dead, 1989, Longlines, After the Poison and The Voyage In. Find out more about the New Poetry Project at this link. ©Collin Kelley, 2016