In Its Distance
By Cheryl Wilder
February 2020 | Originally published by Prime Number Magazine (April 2018)
They are so like love, hurricanes.
First the rising tide and long wait on shore
then the whirlwind’s whistle, ripping trees
and the roof tiles peel off spiraling
to reach someone I left
years ago. He liked to feed me
from his fork, eyes watching with intrigue
every morsel enter my mouth
over my tongue. This matters because
the weight of a man’s gaze can stir a storm onshore
the sky darkens, uncertainty coils.
All I wanted was for him to tell me
it was forever, without reason or explanation—
because it was love. This is small in front of the sea.
He held me close, yet never asked me to stay,
so I started moving—the country slid 30,000 feet
below, cities of erratic lights huddled around bodies of water.
Cheryl Wilder is the author of the poetry collection Anything That Happens (March 2021) and the chapbook What Binds Us. Her work appears in Barely South Review, Prime Number Magazine, Verse Daily, Cream City Review, Literary Mama, Architects + Artisans, among other publications. In 2018, Cheryl served as writer-in-residence at SistaWRITE.