MOVING IN PLACE

We cannot deny
The pain of empty chairs
Across a room once filled entirely
And the reminder non-negotiable
Of what we lost to get here
Where we are

To see your face
When distraction creeps
Along the gutters with old rain
And all that matters falls away
As I see you in a stranger's face
And for a moment this reality
Is real before it vanishes completely
And forever. How could it be
That you and me are walking here
Towards each other, to meet halfway
When we are more estranged than all these people
Who have never met. If I could only
Meet you anew again, as if struck by
A shared amnesia to prevent us from remembering
We cannot meet again
We are helpless like the butterflies
Caught in cobwebs of customs
Inflexible in our refusal to move past
What cannot be described with words
A hatred that is physical, an immunity
To presence and speech and demeanor
And motionless like this we cannot move
Towards or away from what we want to flee from
The empty chair, the stranger's face
The sound that is your name when spoken
By mutual acquaintance. 

Can we unravel all that happened
Before and after, after and now
Can we find a middle ground
To meet despite the anger when
The hatred turns to dust?
I do not know. 
Can the estranged stop being so?
Can those who hate stop doing so
Turning around with grace and ease
Dancing in our ballet shoes
And the mirrors look within
And all the moves are perfect
And the dancers are in sync
With the music and the changing lights
And always with each other
Connected by an overarching
Choreography of movement
Suspense, stillness