Atoms in Three Parts

Part One

‘Don’t you find it terrifying,’
he questioned,
‘How we never truly
touch anything,
how there’s always a level
of disconnect,
a layer of
A mountain of atoms
keeping us somehow
forever apart.
How lonely is that?
To think every night
I’m never truly holding you,
to think I don’t truly know
what your skin feels like
beneath my own.
How do we become
when we’re kept so
a barrier we cannot
break despite countless efforts—
Do you not find pain
in knowing touch
is an illusion,
that your hand on my back
is only your mind’s reaction,
that I’ve never run my fingers
over your arm as you sleep—
That a negative charge
keeps us so positively


Part Two

She says:
She’s so glad
it’s impossible to ever
entirely touch anything,
that she thanks the
wall of atoms
that separated her fingertips
from your body,
that it’s easier
to wash you off
when you were never
sincerely there.
She says:
She feels less regret,
less disgust,
knowing her lips
never fully met yours,
that she’s glad
everything she felt
was fake—
this makes it simple.
She says:
she hopes you feel
like a man still,
for hitting nothing more
than electrons,
for never laying a
hand heavy,
on more than an idea.
She says:
She’s so glad
it’s impossible to ever
entirely touch anything,
so she can tell everyone,
she knows not a thing
about you.

Part Three

My mind
made you up:
the jumping sensation
behind my neck
just a trick—
and I always told you
you felt like a dream:
rather a misconception,
a hopeful illusion,
of what I wanted you to be—
and you always told me
I felt too negative:
a seamless stockade
endlessly pushing us apart:
an attraction of opposites
forged in our heads—
still I dream of how
I’ve imagined you feel,
erasing the veil
created for us
by our own matter.

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