after 17 years, we say hi

for those ninety seconds
after,
we wrapped our arms around
one another
and just stood there

my arms slid over your shoulders
while yours fell around my waist
and we curled our heads
into each other's necks
for comfort

and I could feel your heart
as it raced
and thumped against your ribs,
echoing mine

my left hand curved around
the back of your head
as I looked to rediscover
the lines of you,
after holding their memory
in my palms for so long

you turned your head
and kissed the side of my neck
and we both breathed
in the scent of each other,
and it was like coming home
when I hadn't even realised
I'd left

Paula Harris

Published in a fine line, NZ Poetry Society journal
December 2014