Language & Writing

On Distance

by Paige Lewis

It’s nothing. The sun, with its plasma plumes
and arching heat, is five million miles closer
to Earth than it was in July, and we are still

alive. Today, I need you to stop thinking
about such small numbers. Throw out your
ruler. Your retractable yellow tape. Send

that blue egg up to its nest unbroken. There
is no way to know how far it fell, so it never
fell at all. No more contests. Tell the dirt

to spit its watermelon seeds back between
children’s teeth. Take the trophy buck
from your father’s house. He won’t be

angry. I promise he won’t come looking
for it. Are you willing? What I mean is,
in California, a city celebrates the life

of a firehouse light that’s been burning
for over a century. The citizens throw
parades, they take photos and they share

this light live through websites. What I mean
is, this one light can reach as many people
as the sun, and you only have to reach me.