the problem with closeness

as i share stories and laughter
and newfound love
with no-longer-distant relatives

truths i dare not speak
hang heavily over my head

with so much gained
there is so much to lose
so much to risk
so much to fear

the mask is thin
and yet it’s there
casting a shadow
over the joy

i am caching all these memories
as i wait for proximity to fade
to return to a life that is
at once not so difficult
and not so easy

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