Meeting in the Quarantine

Dear friend,

I ran so many scenarios in my head 
when I met you again. 
I knew you sought me out. I was found. 

How, at once, we are now closer 
and further away from each other.

I apologize for not reaching out. 
Though I know you know
despite long nights of silence,
I was always by your side.

I cannot explain why I chose this solitude. 
It was the only constant thing in my life 
long before this dreadful pandemic.

But please, know this: In my absence, 
I did not love you less. 

Sometimes I have the urge to speak 
but my words fail. I mask the longing 
by trying to do what’s right. I hold 
my breath and count to five.
When it’s quiet enough, 
I hear your sighs.

For many reasons, it will ruin us. 
I do not know how and I’d rather not. 
Yet, it is hard to know you must leave.

The truth is, I cherish every day I wake 
to find you there. I’d gladly remain distant 
if our invisible ties will never sever.

If today is all we’ll have, now is enough 
to feel this joy. Though I wish 
I could hold your hand and unwaste 
the old privilege of a long embrace. 
Relearn what’s at the end of a kiss. 
If I could run my fingers 
through your hair like the last time 
the universe conspired—

But tonight, I am glad 
you are here.
I look into your eyes 
and breathe again.

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