How Long Until by Jessica Morey-Collins

We’re near peaking when our trip sitter talks
about how distance and time are essentially
the same thing, and how—looking far enough
with their telescopes—human eyes only saw
a wall of white. The carpet curls geometric,
our brains making new meaning of the same
boring shapes—spackle, wood grain, plaid
fabric. Our constituency dazzles us. We are
rafters in god’s house. Across the continent
the man I love unboxes bottles—wine, cold-
brewed coffee, kombucha. A seven-hour
connected flight would cost him twenty-hours
of unboxing and talking to customers, would
cost me half a month of tutoring. Time
is distance and time is money—this syllogism
splits my ethos, in which love can overcome
anything. The overcome-able nothing—
what a blood-rich abstraction, to halve
an ether heart, a vacuum’s pulse. The carpet’s
dendritic network, triangle to diamond
to logarithmic spiral; we run along the river
during the come up, alongside a to-scale model
of the solar system—we pass Saturn half a mile
from Earth, loop back to the swing set
to gather our bodies into centrifugal force, feel
the endorphin surge, orbital, perception’s lurch
away from baseline. We’re near peaking when
our trip sitter shows us a visual simulation
of the universe—strands of ultraviolet
tangled across lightless eons.




Jessica Morey-Collins won a 2016 Academy of American Poets award and the 2018 Prism Review Poetry Prize. She studies hazard mitigation at the University of Oregon. Find her at



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