The walnut table stands between us

a distance of thirty years.

On it we weigh our jaws against our fists,

measure the diameter of our breathing,

the circumference of our love and hate.

We feel the volume of our emptiness

in proportion to the volume of our voices.

The tonnage of old words holds down our tongues

until we hear our voices splinter and crack:

you are not my father, I told you once;

you are no son of mine, you shouted back.

Only when we push the table aside,

thirty years after it pulled us apart,

only then, all distance, all weight, all volume,

becomes compressed between the chests

of two sobbing men who measured

each motion, each word,

too often, too long.


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