Julie Gard
Sweet Sap

I will you to pick up, but we don’t anymore. We flip; we press; you watch my name appear and hit silent, or does your phone say “ignore”? You send me to voicemail and there is your voice, revealing no location though I’m sure your accent, once faintly southern, holds a tinge of Canadian vowel. In three June weeks, your diction has changed.

I don’t know if your need for distance is a result of skin or books or some other form of stimulation, intellectual or erotic. Perhaps it is nothing but a new wrist tattoo that keeps you away, or a skateboard that has skinned your knees deliciously, you owning L.A. like a truant boy.

I don’t care where you are, in the boxed-up building across the way or the turret of a Romanian castle, releasing peroxide hair. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a younger lover’s arms or a war zone of your own imagining. I want to hear you speak, to ask why you ever let me into your unmade bed.

I’ve become so creased in the past three weeks that it’s hard to remember the youth you saw in me, mixed with the middle age you found charming, so culturally different. I talked of your premature wisdom as you nibbled on my cheek, while my hands sought out your impossibly firm everything. We lay together like that, fierce, biting and mutually complimentary.

You should have been my child, not my lover, but I phone you anyway and squint past Queens toward the rolling northeast, where organic farms colonize New England and you gently pick heirloom tomatoes in a tie-dyed skirt. I leave no message and simply press “end.” You check fruit skin for rot and find me gone, one last rolling in your palms and falling through.


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