Distant by Alina Macneal


When you don’t come home for dinner
I check the calendar.

Boston. Oh. San Diego. Oh.
Or nothing. I like nothing. I like losing track of you.

I let dishes pile in the sink. Pour a vodka tonic.
Put on Lucinda Williams.

If you opened the door now, jacket over your elbow,
I’d be disappointed.

Did you remember I was going out? I’d say.
And I’d go.

Sometimes we touch along the edges
where our circles overlap,

then spin away, silent
like planets.


Alina Macneal is a Philadelphia-based educator, writer, and architect. Her poems have appeared in Apiary, Poems for the Writing, The World to Come, Poetry 24, Welcome to the Resistance, and other publications. Born in Poland, she came to the US with her family as a child, growing up bilingual in the mono-lingual suburbs of St. Louis. She lives in University City and has been on the faculty at Drexel University for 30 years.

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