Contact: from the Latin for touch.
Isolate: from the Latin for island.
Because your breath had touched mine,
I was obliged to metamorphose
into a separate land mass,
to wear a collar of brine
like a heavy gurgling yoke
around a neck of windswept black basalt,
to accept being defined
by a measurable circumference
and a finite diameter,
to have borders no one disputed,
topography no one surveyed,
terrain no one mapped,
accessible only to birds and fish,
cut off from earth’s seething gene pool
so long the crows nesting in my navel
evolved into a novel species,
their language of caws
impossible for a mainland raven to parse,
to become parsonic, thrifty, small, a person
used to gazing on distances
of monotone water, geologic-scale vistas,
perspectives patient and vast.