The Time in Between

At the core of me, beyond
all the nonsense and lifelessness
or as elemental as lava
who I am, now;
it’s mine:
the time in between.

Like we sprang up
were frozen, mid-air
this will not change: static;
the fray
between sickness and health
for two years
the measure, a new normal
without breathing, Shhh…
we are talking to God.

It comes back, now and often
this knowing and not knowing
hyper-real green and focused
loops of dialogue
cut into me
reworking the groove.

But in dreams, we’re together
our time concurrent, running
still – I can spin around
to catch her, face to face;
(smiling grey eyes)
tall again. Steadfast.

In the kitchen, doing the dishes
her sing-song voice
laughter is clear
and this is something that never ages
at Ian and Marilyn’s
behind the scenes
of Christian holidays
the collective buzz of our voices
or that day in High Park
in early September
that year, alone
bright golden sun
we picked the pods
the crimson hollyhocks.

She is gracious
more than anything else, above
I’ve come to count on this
as easy and uncomplicated
—elsewhere, I know
realized slowly, unfolded
and crumpled once more
to see her again, for sure in
forty years or so.

At present, it’s like this
right here, because it never alters
this twilight by the shore
plum-coloured and transfixed
as if stuck in a painting
rooted right into the canvas
it’s part of our genome
the time in between.

Some people, they can’t do this
so I am grateful:
We are separated
she and I
by a vast and unknowable ocean
and yet every night, etched in, we
find ourselves
on the shore, returned
and without thinking
to the constant.

- Megan Mueller