When she says, “I need space”

the space between his fingers as he held bricks, ceramic cups, as he threw a plate at the door, as he pushed himself off the carpet;

or instead, the space between his toes as he sprinted, as he caught up, as he stretched in bed;

or instead, the space between his arm and hers as they sat side by side but not together, the warmth and the static cling on their clothes making one arm acutely aware of the other, but without touching, without a glance, without acknowledgment;

or instead, the space between the house where he grew up and the high school he attended, which he had walked despite the space being 7.1 miles, and he’d walked it multiple times, and he’d still dropped out in his senior year;

or instead, space in a general way, an abstract way, the way that it can stretch on and on until the gentle curved edge of the universe, which he imagines feels like pulled silk stretched taut, catching rogue molecules like a palm.

Joelle A. Chassé
03 10 16