The space between two people never quite closes. That’s all right. It’s the rub of surfaces we need anyway, the slowbrush of hand on arm, the quick hug as we discoveran old friend has gone gray, that he’s reading on a hardchair in the back room, leaving most of the house to strangers.It’s all right to leave him there, maybe, to walk acrossthe red bridge and into the woods, travel the worn pathsin windy sunshine. Turning left each time will bringyou back. It’s all right, maybe, to explain that you won’tbe back till late, that you hope for coffee in the morning,for a small table upstairs to spread out your books and papers,most of which you won’t open before you pack up to leave.The space between two people can open like a net, collapse,dangle loose and empty, ready to catch and hold, to bind.
Jeff Gundy is the author of Somewhere Near Defiance (poems) and Songs from an Empty Cage (essays). He teaches at Bluffton University in Ohio.