(Published Punk Noir)

I measure time between us in trucks
and tree-lurking deer on the side of I-71.
Because two hours and twenty minutes
are easier to swallow counting potholes
and county lines, guiding the way from
landmark to landmark. From McDonalds
to gas station to faded sign for the last
Kentucky rest stop before the bridge.
And I calculate the distance between us
in cell signal drops and time stretches
with good songs on the radio.

150 miles isn’t far. But it’s too far.
And how much I miss you weighs more
the closer I get, past every sweep of violets
scattered wild throughout the heartbreak.
And a river’s symbolism changes
depending on the direction I go.
How North means a deep breath
before a sunlit Cincinnati skyline.
And I start to feel your arms gather me up,
knowing you’re just another hour
from that traffic-patterned hill
curving teeth into the music.

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