A pretty girl sits down at a patio table across from me.
She takes an acoustic guitar
out of her leather purse. I’m drinking coffee grounded from Carver Stories
With one hand, she tunes the guitar,
and with the other she strums the strings
with a beating heart.
I feel an emptiness,
deep from within my chest,
that is like a ceramic jar
missing its precious soil.
The lyrics to her songs
come from a radio station on the moon.
The one that plays
music made out of
empty friends and unplanned successes.
I hum along to the pauses
between her words and clap
to the punctuation marks, constraining her lovely voice.
She sounds like my future.
She sounds like a songbird.
She sounds like running your fingers
through a round, bald head.
The girl looks up from her guitar
and smiles at me, as if I am her second boyfriend.
The same one who she marries
out of necessity,
out of income,
out of security.
I offer her a piece of gum
Etched with masculinity.
She takes a bite.
Then spits it out at once.
And it’s not the kind of laugh that is forced,
or given out of sympathy.
It’s the kind of laugh that says:
“Hey I see you and I know,
I miss the stranger in your smile.
And the kick drum in your heart.
And all love
that I have never received, due to my stubbornness.”
And the girl transformed into
And I changed into the girl.
And then the mirror became the girl.
And the girl became me.
Then we looked into each other’s eyes,
and made love under the spell of a song,
the same one she played in the beginning,
with music notes that sounded like the anguished cries
that come from my heart, the same heart
that she uses to play her guitar.