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Voracious consumer of thoughts, and fears,

and delights, and loves, the stories of others,

all placed just so upon the page where you

feast and feast in admirable gluttony until

at last you lift your hand to fill the table,

a banquet plated up for others as you step away,

gourmand no more, now one who waits,  

glancing from the kitchen door,

breath bated until the diners’ verdict
I find the rough-hewn bench where we once met,

where my anticipation led to scribbled notes,

read and reread, each time returned to pocket,

only to be exhumed, unwrinkled, and memorized

once more, and sufficient to cause me to pace about,

to mutter, to rehearse hackneyed platitudes, fumphering

again, and again, until at last you arrived and laughed a

consoling laugh at my ineptness, enveloping me in a warmth

I had never known


And now, as I shift about, a gray spot alone among

the burgeoning reds and yellows and golds of the cool

autumn, I search the faces of passersby, knowing well

you will not be among them, yet wondering if I will

ever see you again
The grains fall through corseted glass,
time squandered, regretted,
opportunities irretrievable,
a life whispered, then silent.

Listen – do you hear the music?
It plays on.
Strut, leap, beam wide-eyed,
ignite a soul ablaze to

inhale the aroma of the lush
severed blades of late summer,
grin at the smiling sunflowers,
sway to the music of love,

broad-hearted, full-throated,
spear the brass circle, then cast it into the sea.
“Oh, that. That was nothing.”
A life to see.
I exist only in memory now, and as the shoebox lid is lifted

and my photo is raised, the effort brings her a smile, and as

her thoughts turn, the splinters of light flicker as if the start

of an old projector, then rat-a-tat images, the poorly spliced

film sputtering until I appear, a sepia vignette, my face

amorphous, gossamer, voiceless, until I am set down, placed

once again inside the cardboard container, the cards and

photographs, and old key chains and lucky coins and the pack

of loose razor blades gently moved aside by a careful hand,

the box destined not to be opened again until one yet to be born

lifts me to the light, the curious pencil inscription faded, yet

visage familiar, sufficient to return a smile of recognition

before I am lidded once more, a curious forebear, and as the

tenuous threads of connection sever, I suspend over the trash can

until a sentimental hand slides me back upon the shelf, the detritus

blown clear before I reclaim my perch, awaiting my chance to be

raised to the light again.
There, a distant rumble, a wistful tickle of memory,
of lauded youth, expectant and callow, and now,
hubristic dreams long swamped, regretted, he sits alone,
the past unspoken, the opaque night thicker, heavier,
the clock nearly sated, and the sepia promise of a certain
time tattered, irretrievable, he nods and brightens
at lessons well learned.
I wait, seated behind the arched letters of the cafe window,
riveted by others who move urgently, soundlessly, beyond the thick
glass, scurrying along glistening sidewalks,
winding between glaring headlamps in the slick night,
to lovers, to friends, to family, to home.
I remember no words, only the sting of hot coffee,
a hurried gulp to stanch the welling pain, and to quiet
the certain quiver of my voice if left to speak.
Yet once into the dampness, standing together for a last time
in the crystalline night, the balance is seared into hard memory
as I watch you lift a speck from my collar,
grooming me, as before, and then a smile, wistful now,
and you rise on tiptoes to brush a wisp of hair from my brow.
Silent, hood now raised in the misting dark,
you find the corner of the red brick building and
vanish.
Elusive, mischievous feline, you confound me,

you are stardust, quicksilver,

a pink-nosed rogue, indifferent to beseeching,  

oblivious to the outstretched palm,

and as I lean near to listen with all attentiveness,

you withhold even the momentary purr,

choosing only a quizzical look and a single blink

before the paw lick and scamper,

and the search to grace elsewhere.
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