I read your words, and I feel a false comfort. Getting as close to your thoughts as the approximation of writing can get, I feel as though I have not been absent from the primary stream of your life these past four months. Holding the page close to my face, glasses off, wrapped up in a bed you’ve never slept in, I internalize your syntax, I imagine the words I would say in response. The act of reading you feels intimate, like an exchange.

But I know this game. I have been the one across the sea. Time changes everyone, a subtle erosion, and you and I are slightly stranger to each other now than we were. You have been in my thoughts, but you have not heard them. You have not been there in the early morning to hear what I was dreaming. This distance terrifies me. And yet… here, then, comes another opportunity to unpack you. In the passenger seat of a smoky black car in Los Angeles, I will look into your hurricane eyes and there will be new codes to read.

There will always be something new in you to struggle to grasp, always new wild territories of myself to embrace all the more through sharing them with you. The cold slice of fear across my cheeks is merely evidence that hot blood pulses through me. 

Oh, even the self in months to come, raging at some petty infraction, some ill-communicated slight, the self that shatters telephones and takes disaffected men to bed, even she cries out to you, come home, come home