in like a lion, out like a lamb,
just like you.
i think of you there
in the offices next door, in a cubicle,
so close, so close.
i picture calling, pretending
i am interested in your company's
services, just to hear your voice--
velvet and humor and cadence.
i wonder why everyone who calls there for
legitimate reasons and is lucky enough to
get you on the phone
doesn't fall under your spell and
consider clawing their way through
a hopeless, endless desert for the mere
possibility that you will be waiting at the end,
with water and a soft kiss,
in a flowing, shimmering dress:
the mirage you are and the woman i remember
from before i knew you,
at last the same.
but i can't call for all the sand in my mouth
and my fingers too raw from all the clawing.
and in my dreams you run in front of me,
your back to me,
occasionally looking behind,
but always one step ahead--
always just too far to reach
with my ragged fingertips.
i sip into my 11th cup of coffee
and tap out the rhythm of a popular song
i half-overheard on the radio today.
i should tell you my fingertips are just fine.
that was only a metaphor.
just fine, just fine,
save for the lack of you beneath them.