I have a tendency to reminisce about Tennessee
whenever I am blessed with your company.
The only place I’ve ever enjoyed country music,
finding it less derivative and far more therapeutic
needling for Nashville, never listening enough.
My head is always somewhere else than with us
plagued by Greyhound daydreams until dusk.
My hand is always plotting points on a map,
instead of tracing the smoothness of your skin
like it ought to be, fingertips to porcelain.
There are oceans and continents between us
this great divide that I’ve conjured unconsciously,
that I’ve inflicted upon you unceremoniously,
making myself a martyr for new lands
and forgetting the warm caress of your hands.
I have a bad habit of unduly distracting myself
and therefore detaching myself from it all,
when I should be duly distracted by you,
attaching myself always to you, building bridges
spanning seas, to lessen this distance by degrees.
I still do not listen enough, and I’m still sorry.
It’s just that this constant need for more
has been a constant haunting since the fall.
You deserve everything, and I almost nothing;
perpetually between places and scared of settling.
So I’ll burn these maps and scatter their ashes,
marking the first of many more genuine promises,
in the hopes of being a better man than I have been,
living in the moment instead of living for things once seen.
Chichester, March 2017