“The Distance I Can Be From My Son” by Rikki Santer

I open the door of every morning to suffer distance,
             tiny indexes on my sleeves as I sludge through singed distance.
Too many attempts to conjure breath from cypress knees,
            I can’t take your tiny hand anymore as you blurt across new distance.
I’m a flat cartoon, my tiara tarnished and tagged as you rear up
            to spar, tar & feather me from your stubborn distance.
Our opera stutters on a loop, my insomnia on cue, & here I sit, tracing
            valleys that you abandon in the wake of urgent distance.
Exhausted cigarette butts lurk in a tumbler, sting of argument still in the air.
            You’ve gone home & your hoof prints on my throat, tabdak tabdak in the distance.
I will remain the head-shaved Medea in the mythology of your salty heart,
            the irritating grit of sand that won’t leave your jaw, even in long-distance distance.
You pace your deck—you & I seem to be forever lost at sea.  Teetering
            in my ice crusted boat, I fix my gaze on glaciers emboldened in the distance.

Rikki Santer’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications both nationally and abroad including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, Margie, The Journal of American Poetry, Hotel Amerika, Crab Orchard Review, Grimm, Slipstream and The Main Street Rag.  Her work has received many honors including four Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.Her seventh collection, In Pearl Broth, was published this spring by Stubborn Mule Press.  She lives in Columbus, Ohio.  Please contact her through her website:   www.rikkisanter.com