Questions of Distance Haunt Me

Questions of Distance Haunt Me

How is it your voice slides over the horizon
as clearly as if we were sitting across the table
at breakfast drinking our morning coffee?

Shouldn’t your words swim thru taut-strung
wires thick as your braided hair, strung high
atop poles along winding two-lane highways
through Montana and the Dakota Badlands,
the Black Hills causing echoes so they arrive
in matched pairs just after just after you say them?

How come I imagine your hand as it tightens
its grip on the receiver the way you might
on the handle of a dagger just before you’d cut me?

And when I moved inside of you that final time
in room 7 of that cheap motel off highway 53,
my face buried in your hair, your legs pulling me
closer so the space between our skin could not be
measured, why just then did I feel the gap widen
between where we were at that exact moment
and where I once was?
                               Why do I always feel this way
when I am lying alone in my bed on those murky nights
when sleep has decided to take a long walk elsewhere,
feeling that you are with me as before, that if I just reach
out far enough, the fissure will close and the lesion
will scab over?
                     And if possible, can you tell me please,
why after all these years and uncounted miles between
us the mere sound of your voice still makes me bleed?

Paul Scot August

Published February 2010 in Poetry Quarterly, Volume One – “Carried Over”


6 Responses to “Questions of Distance Haunt Me”

  1. I enjoy your poetry so much, and I’ll tell you why. You write about recognizable human emotions: longing, sex, and sleepless nights. Your imagery is terrific: words swimming through taut wires strung through Montana and the Badlands — uch, it’s just great! And you definitely know how to stick that last line (who hasn’t bled like that?)

    I say this not to be ingratiating, but because I went to hear four poets read on Saturday night. Two of them wrote about recognizable human events and feelings. The other two were deliberately “intellectual” and obscure. Guess which two got the best response? Yep.

    Your stuff always has a little rock’n’roll to it. You’re an inspiration. 🙂

  2. I thought I could write poetry,
    but, upon reading yours my mind
    is reeling. All the rush of words
    form perfect paintings that hang
    themselves before me, each an
    endless horizon, offering itself
    to exploration. And in the end
    I know not whether to expect
    awakening, or heartache renewed.

  3. There’s power in poetry with just a touch of erotica…. very nice.

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