Love & Loss & Long Distance

Love & Loss, in Olympic Sculpture Park, is a contemporary sculpture by Roy McMakin. (

Love & Loss, in Olympic Sculpture Park, is a contemporary sculpture by Roy McMakin. (


The letter languidly drapes itself in white paint

on the bench of concrete;

it leaves most of the seat free, though

seeming to speak:

“lay down here for a little bit and rest leisurely”

I once thought that love and loss were two emotions

experienced disjointedly,

a Venn diagram, with two circles never touching,

one labelled loss, the other labelled love,

or a cause-and-effect chain, one leading to another

he left so now I feel empty


A circular pit-like opening in its center

“peer in, I hold stones, still water, your memories, and petals,” it says

he loves me not, he loves me

But a year of him has convinced me otherwise:

there is little more bittersweet than

taking him in doses,

his scarce visits barely sufficient, never satisfying;

one pill, a three day high (hopefully);

each a stone swallowed solemnly, sinking gracelessly –

throat through esophagus O –

disturbing stomach’s still water surface, rippling gracefully

until the water slows and settles

leaving me serene and stoic

again –


This is where the petals come from,

anger, gratitude, insecurity,

all from this tree of vulnerability –

And I’m left here with the taunting scent of saltwater,

the Sound saying,

but instead of him, you’ve got me for company” –


So here I sit at the last letter,

a plastic table surrounded by vacant stools except mine

amongst the scrambled letters of words painted in white,

and an assertive red & sign

pondering the many ways love and loss exist unified.


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