they say an amputee can still ache
in the empty place where the limb used to be
can feel the quake of neurons that don’t exist
in a combination of air and leftover space

but there are no scientific studies on the sensation
of being missed, the heavy difference in here and there,
no scholarly articles published on the fact that
tattoos worsen in their permanence when they’ve been kissed,
but she’s been working on calculating her own formulas,
detailing her argument on the earnestness of heart pangs
hypothesizing and theorizing

because the measurement of time spent apart
proves that any length of longing between two lovers
leaves them like hospital patients curling under covers
looking for where each other went

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