In Its Distance
They are so like love, hurricanes.
First the rising tide and long wait on shore
then the whirlwind’s whistle, ripping trees
and the roof tiles peel off spiraling
to reach someone I left
years ago. He liked to feed me
from his fork, eyes watching with intrigue
every morsel enter my mouth
over my tongue. This matters because
the weight of a man’s gaze can stir a storm onshore
the sky darkens, uncertainty coils.
All I wanted was for him to tell me
it was forever, without reason or explanation—
because it was love. This is small in front of the sea.
He held me close, yet never asked me to stay,
so I started moving—the country slid 30,000 feet
below, cities of erratic lights huddled around bodies of water.
Born and raised in Northern California, Cheryl Wilder has made her home in North Carolina for over twenty years. She is the author of the chapbook, What Binds Us, published by Finishing Line Press in 2017. Her work has appeared in Cream City Review, Hunger Mountain, Literary Mama, Connotation Press, Architects + Artisans, Numero Cinq, among others. Cheryl holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she earned her MFA in 2010. She is married with three sons and lives near the Haw River.
I lived in Wilmington, NC for many years and hurricanes are good arbiters of reflection.
What is one thing about you that people assume?
People assume that since I’m quiet, I don’t have much to say. Why? I tend to be quiet even when I have something to say.
What is your spirit animal?
An orange cat. Sometimes a tabby, other times a tiger. Depends on my mood. You’ll have to ask them why; they chose me.
Rock, paper, or scissors?