No Distance

by Elizabeth Scott Tervo

You were far away
when you lay dying.
I could not go to you,
and you could not go anywhere.

They told me you were awake and might recover.
I saw you in the screen.

You were confused, then you saw me,
you knew me, you were confused again,
you knew me again,
then your eyes rolled right up
and were only white—no pupil
in your dark face.

Then you returned,
and our eyes nailed together
giving and receiving
fondness and missing and sorrow

and I understood that you would not recover.

I could not go to you,
and you could not go anywhere.
Too many miles were in my way,
and tons of air were pressing on your chest.

I said to let you rest.

When they told me you were gone,
the distance was erased.
You flew instantly to my side
and will always be here now
closer than when you were on the other side 
of this world
in this life

Elizabeth Scott Tervo‘s poetry and stories appear in RuminateEye to the Telescope, the Wheel, Agape Review, New Haven Review, and elsewhere, and won a prize at Inscape. She co-coordinates the Doxacon Seattle writers group for Speculative Literature & Christianity. Her memoir, set in the country of Georgia on the eve of the breakup of the USSR, was published in 2021 by Azri books and sold out its initial run. A native of Boston, she now lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Elizabeth’s short story “Aphrodite in the Forest, My Lady Aphrodite” was featured in HamLit’s inaugural publication, Winter Issue: No Man’s Land.

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