Call screening

For the listener, who listens in the snow, 
And, nothing himself, beholds 
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
From The Snowman by Wallace Stevens

We look forward to these daily shows, trapped in the ratios of phone screens and laptops. I want to get as close to the camera as I can, but it distorts and then blacks out, and I sit back down. We talk about the day’s events, and I hear them and I also don’t hear them, because I’m looking at you. It is as though what we have is so intense, I cannot spare more than one sense at a time to take it all in. I have to listen hard to parse and process not peer at the pixels in wonder at how beautiful you are and how you can be all so far away and yet right here.

And when there are no words, there are pictures without sound. Looking into you as though there were no barrier between us. An involuntary twitch of the lips I reciprocate, it’s the kiss that is blown half way around the world in an instant. A mouth whose movements I know and eyes that were the first thing I noticed and still are, every time we speak.

And sometimes we turn off the pictures, to listen to the sound of each other breathing. The pauses, the catch in your voice, as you tell me about the ways we will spoon, when the moment is here when we finally break the Fourth Wall. When the third, fourth and fifth senses will finally be as fulfilled in three dimensions. Where your hands will be and where you will place mine. I shift in my seat, uncomfortable now until I hear you say:

“Are you as turned on as I am?”
“Can I touch it?”

And we come in a minute.

You are not here and yet your spirit is so intensely here, I don’t notice the delays or ISDN glitches; you are the opposite of the rest of my life which is ever-present and yet makes the same impression as a pebble on the surface of a lake. That is the nothing that is not there, you are the nothing that is.


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