Between Seattle and Chattanooga
   by Daniel Shin


This scares me.


Our words circle each other

like vultures,

hungry for meaning,

yearning for response,

but not sure

what they want.


Never before have we encountered

this desert of possibility,

this expanse of sky,

this much of nothingness.


Now it fills the wire,

the receiver, the sender.

My throat constricts.

Friends, I say.

Friends, you say.



Always friends.


Yet now so unlike

so like

what it has always been.


I saw your shape in mountains,

pink Arizona hills,

your face, your body

your self.

I traced your rocky forehead,

stroked the crags of your breasts,

got lost.

My foot slack on the accelerator,

where it was so important to be.

I was coming to see you.


I thought I loved you,

thought you could love me,

thought romances endlessly

for three days

until I arrived at your doorstep,

in your arms,

your chin on my shoulder,

my cheek in your hair

your smell in my nose,



I meant to lift you,

to twirl you in the air,

to hold on to you forever,

but I was scared.


You were, are, and

will always be,


my friend.

I can’t hurt you.


On the drive,

ten states,

I told myself again and again,

what happens happens,

what happens happens,


but I kept thinking

of lips, arms, hair,

Touch I thought,

Love I thought.

I could not, seeing you,

hold back, be silent.


“I love you,” I said.

By then I was desperate.

By then you were overwhelmed.



Where do we go from here

I wonder?


I hope our words find each other.

I hope we will always be friends.



Author’s Bio:

Daniel Shin is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. Having spent the last ten years traveling the world, he is now settling down and trying to publish the stories and poems he has written while abroad. He has previously had works published in university literary journals Windrow and The Auburn Circle and has just finished writing his first novel.