By Kayli Harley, TIWP Student

I miss touch, 
the gentle caress of angelic skin, 
the clasping of giving hands, 
the embrace of tired limbs.

I long for the communion of strangers, 
the brushed shoulders in crowded city streets, 
the occasional grazing of fingertips, 
the oblivious privilege of presence. 

I yearn for innate connection, 
the alternative to words, 
the warmth of a hand on my back, 
the thoughtless passings of touch.   

One moment.  
One moment to tell them I remember them
and the feeling of their arms around my neck.
One moment to cup their faces between my palms 
and wipe their falling tears.
One moment to trace the wrinkles on my grandmother’s soft hands
and embrace my grandfather in greeting. 
One moment to walk through the bustling halls. 
One moment to stand amongst the crowd. 
One moment to share the same atmosphere.    

Those moments are frozen in time, 
stuck aimlessly in nostalgia.  
They have become touch’s remorse,
meant for more than a dream
but bonded to it by circumstance. 

I reach for you with tethered hands,
aching as I will them to remain at my sides.
I am forgetting a time when touch was a sense and not senseless. 
If we sever this bond, what happens to the memory?

What is it now?
A gift, touch is a gift.

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