Plainly: I want to see your face(s) and hear you speak for the first time in days weeks months years.
But you are gone. You are out-of-town. You are traveling, a Japanese American foreigner in Tokyo, your hair styled into a rat's nest because your dad's new hairdresser-girlfriend says it's all the rage in Japan. You are disappeared, perhaps on a Great North American trek with your boyfriend, snapping flicks of seedy motels and truckstop diners. You have moved, looking for love in Berlin or solitude in a small Norwegian town near the ocean. You are unable to make the trip to Oakland; your sister, a foreign correspondent for the New York Times in West Africa, is visiting for a few days. You are starting school in Boston or Chicago or Davis. You never want to see me again; I remind you of your failure. You are dead, never to hold, never to hold me.
But although you are gone, you linger, vividly. You will always have a place with me, here as my loved one, my friend, my enemy, my acquaintance, an ambiguous presence. The ones who have moved through me and left their landmarks behind. I should just be fine with that, to be the last one story-scarred and lava-hot and forest-grown, alive and growing even when lonely and alone and mistaken in the belief that I am done with living.