For 3 years, we have lived 3,000 miles apart. Every day, California calls me or I call him, and the distance shucks off like the green that blankets an ear of corn. For a couple of years, I lived for that shucking, lived for the moments when the miles fell away and I was no longer just an East coast girl. I was his girl, his princess, the lady of his heart. More than that, I was bare as one of those ears of corn, exposed and vulnerable, ready to be eaten or devoured. Here I am, I felt like saying, when what I really said was a simple hello. Through words and letters, we wove our dreams together, pretending we wove our lives. Twice he flew out to see me, and for a few short days my life was all puffy clouds and daydreams only I wasn't dreaming. I'd pinch myself after he kissed me, leaving little crescents from my fingernails in the fleshy part of my arm. Now it has been two years since we've made love, two years since anyone has kissed me the way he kissed me, his hands cupping my face, his whole mouth drinking me in. I don't dare say we're growing apart, but when he shucks me now, the green no longer all falls off. California, my California, you've never seemed so far away.