Longing. A not quite poem.

Longing. That’s an odd word. I’ve been chewing it for a couple of days now like a dog worries a piece of cured hide. At this point, like the hide, the word is gnarled beyond recognition and, truth be told, a little soggy.

The problem is what it implies versus what it means. Chew some more. Longing. Longing. Lengthening.

That’s it, isn’t it.

Longing means to wish for something to come sooner but the implication is that the wait is lengthened. Just one more example of how human feelings just make the human condition worse. We want for something so much that it makes the wait even longer. Longing. Lengthened.

And when received, where does this feeling go? It flies unbidden into oblivion. We don’t notice its passing and we certainly don’t mourn it.

Longing becomes a state of being. Or maybe a stateless being. When you’re longing for something, it’s enveloping, all-encompassing. Like an infant screaming for care, ignorant of time, you cannot remember a time before the longing and all you know is how to end it. Longing has no tempo and pace. It is as inexorable as grief and maybe that’s it? Is Longing grief for lost moments, for shared experiences never birthed? Is it the silent loss of these unborn joys that makes longing feel so god-damned terrible?

So, I grieve for these missed delights. And as I grieve I cannot understand how long I have grieved or how long it will be until the grief is replaced. I just know with every cell of my being that at some point the inarticulate shrieking in my soul will cease moments before I touch you.

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