From This Distance

by Ed Higgins

Yes, I can imagine it now

how we could each disappear completely

connected only through memory's fault lines,

subduction zones all our own,

lie-protected over time's distance

surfaces sliding under recollection

as overlaying sediments accumulate

transform into anthracite

or other hardened evidence

under pressure of ages ago.

Remembering, itself long since fading

at some lost premise:

We once sang so goofily out of tune

we may actually have laughed out loud.

Uncertain too are favored wines:

zindfandel, chardonnay, oaky pinots

we declared made just for us--

Little suspecting some later taste

like treachery, say, calculated

or maybe only through regret

conveniently overlooked

while staring into one another's eyes.

So somewhere now in middle-age

uneven embarrassment draws me back

to where memory no longer techtonically shears

along fault lines long past each other.

Whole continents have drifted slowly

to their present locations

built up and worn away,

tracing rifts in the crust still.