distance is an afterlife

if i can only keep pace at 7 miles per hour,
it will take me one million, four hundred and sixty-three

thousand, seven hundred and sixty seconds to
remember his face, another million to teach

my tongue to remember his name, another thousand
to drag my eyeball like a finger through thawing concrete

to gaze at his visage, another hundred to guard against arms
too quick to touch mine, another ten to remember

to apologize, another one to remember where the shower is
so i can wash off the smell of fruit rotting for too much time.

the watch he gave me is broken. i could fix it, but
i know he will buy me a new one. he's like that—

trying to fix the things he doesn't know are broken, yet
ignoring the glass he shattered with a snake rod. i don't know

what he's trying to prove, but i know the scent of apple cider
and i are the same. it never gets old. we are a devil's pleasure

worth the one million, four hundred and sixty-three thousand,
seven hundred and sixty moments that lasted an eternity

too short. he watched a world crumble and called it
my fault. i watched a world crumble and called it heaven.

i mutter prayers under my breath to this foreign god, set
my alarm for an hour too early, dread the twenty-seven

thousand, eight hundred seconds i will unconsciously regret
running, but forgetting in which direction, watching moments

elongate into minutes elongate into hours as i
memorize the rhythms of the hymn for the morning.