This Is What Distance Does

We measure catastrophes by how close they hit
to home.

There was a shooting at an elementary school
an hour away from my home. When I heard,
all I got were chills
and a slow wave of sympathy, but
the grief of thinking of the fist-sized
heart of my six year old brother
drove me to the brink of

There was a hurricane in New York City.
I ran down the streets, my body wringing itself
into beads of sweat, the water hitting my cheeks like drops of

No one who knew me from home
called, to ask if I was alright.

To them, it was just
a little rain.

I couldn’t tell how much I hurt you from
two hundred miles away. I
couldn’t tell how bad you wanted to wring my throat
in the comfort of our separate cities.

The Richter scale will tell you how difficult it is
for you to regain your footing after an
earthquake. My childhood epilepsy was just a cry
for help.

I am so sorry for not being close enough to feel your
body’s vibrations against mine.

I am so sorry
for always finding shelter
from each storm.

— Shinji Moon




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