(In response to Sex Without Love by Sharon Olds)
they do not live as we do, from passion to passion, each consecutive loss a wound across our stomachs, thrashing. They are alone to themselves, content as only children growing up in the countryside, wandering curious through woods and haylofts, warmed by early sunshine, at ease with their solitude. They are not shaken (as we are) by the roar of a freight engine barreling along steel tracks, nor do they feel the glow and stab of a star falling through the lofty black attic of the universe, hurtling into the sudden beam of headlights. They do not ache at the thought of its brief flight, caught for an instant by those driving home late on long empty roads, pulling alone through the dark tunnel of night. And playing the radio they may come across the last bit of an old country music song, shredded by static yet still enough to remember- just barely- what it was like to have a body in the seat next to them warm and half asleep against the window. Thank God they will say, to no one, to the gaping black barns abandoned against the roadside, the dark blue upholstery of the car, Thank God. I came so terribly close.