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Oct052012

BETWEEN

The backstory:  Two lovers, forced by prior commitments to be 2,000 miles apart for six weeks, talk by phone every day.  Although they understand that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and "pain builds character," they don't like the separation.  Three weeks into this arrangement, he writes a poem for her and when he reads it to her over the phone, she cries.  After their conversation about that poem, he writes this one.

"You make me cry."

"You make me write."

Lovers touching over miles, 

Each reports a personal truth,

And each distorts what's real.

 

Her tears aren't caused by him,

Like hammer drives a nail,

Or the moon moves tides.

His writing's not caused by her,

Like heat boils water,

Or a lever lifts a weight.

Neither makes the other cry or write.

 

Crying happens when her love meets his words.

Writing blooms from his love of words and her.

Both emerge between.

 

Her crying shows her love:

Others wouldn't weep,

Some wouldn't even read.

His writing shows his love:

Others might tweet or sing,

Some wouldn't even blink.

 

So it is between these two,

And everywhere that humans walk.

Count all that's individual,

Track each psychic piece,

Trace every singularity,

And what remains counts most:

The syn- in synergy,

The function in math,

The green where yellow meets blue--

The between.

 

Don't shape your world to fit the lie

That "person" equals "island,"

That Adam's only one,

Separate, individual,

Disconnected from partner Eve.

 

Asian thinkers have it right:

The smallest human unit's two.

We're products of connections.

What's real for each is co- and syn-

Jill's world is built with Jack

And his with her.

 

So what?

Don't shift from blame to guilt--

"It's all my fault" or "I screwed up."

That's just another lie,

Obscuring what's between.

Instead, refigure fault and blame,

Re-own your role in joys and pains,

Embrace your partnered life.

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