The Distance Between Us

by Lauren Mappledoram

Mapping my body along its tissues,
I trace the curved lines across my palm,
up veins branching like B roads

and touch my face –
people say I look like you.
Our eyes crinkle the same way when we laugh
and our throats creak like rusty weather vanes.

Stretching my arms, I imagine white fascia
webbed around my muscles,
pulled thin as a bride’s veil tossed in the mud.

I watch my chest fill with breath
and trace the blotch of red on my belly
shaped like a crushed tree
around the empty well of my navel

and I picture myself so small –
when we were separated
only by thin layers of flesh.

Now, all this air between us
holds so many hills and mountains and caves.