The Bitter Distance

The Bitter Distance

The Bitter Distance 150 150 Rodney Wilder

Despite the stars that number beyond number,
the moon hangs its craters lonesomely.
Drifts a distant mother and thinks of us,
slips us an earthward smile but shades
her heartbroken eyes in darkness.
Space fizzes its awe with bodies,
but no alabaster pantheon of gas and glow
can dull the constant ache of shining
for a people who insist on arm’s length,
content to keep you at the tips of their fingers.
The moon wants to be more to us
than a satellite, some pallid outlier
we can only love when bent into reflective metaphor,
and I wonder,
did you mean to leave so much of yourself in these stones
when you spun them from each other?
There is an unspoken lament between these spheres,
and you’ve already proven yourself a God
who smirks as He sculpts, divulges Himself
into the strength of the sea
and the sun’s necromantic aubade.
If there is sadness in the moon, it is one
you dripped into it when we were still just a dream
destined for Eden and the agonied aeons needed
for us to love its husbandry.
This distance shawls the moon something bitter,
but how much more you?– our luminary groom
conceded only outskirt and afterthought.
how have you not tired of us?
You are the hand beneath our bellies,
lifting us above flood after flood even as we grasp
at lapping doom for the sheen we see on its surface,
all wax-wing and millstone-necktie.
Our mouths whisper their intimacies into the dirt,
while you we would rather consider
with cobwebbed ritual if not the outright neglect
of a hand eclipsing your glory, that hill
where Love converged on death and we
miss your Christ in our passion for the latter,
our wrists so fond of flirting with razors.
What parent can watch their child’s suicide
and not shatter like stained glass?
you are stained glass, a rubicund heart
at which we pitch ourselves like cobblestones
again and again and again and again and yet you remain,
no crack effacing the love maintained in your embrace.
Thank you.
If only we had seen the way our faces
streamed a Gethsemane-red love-song from yours, the love
that filled your flesh with everything keeping you away from us
but us,
took it to the grave
and returned to an audience of stars.
If only we had felt how our absence
trembled fractures through your chest, we’d want nothing
so much as the nearness of your scars.


Rodney Wilder

Rodney Wilder is a biracial nerd who bellows death-metal verse in Throne of Awful Splendor and writes poetry, with previous work appearing in FreezeRay Tales of the Talisman, and his first collection of poetry, 2012's Ars Golgothica. Currently writing his fandom-fueled followup, he likes nachos, analogizing things to Pokémon, and getting lost in Oregonian forests.

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