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