“It’s a sure shot,” comes the voice of cafe triteness.
We sit beneath a bullseye, still; drinks are tepid now.
Insipid songs from ever-present speakers blast, the
continuous loop of a moribund culture, or,
so my thoughts. I avoid your eyes because I know
that I will see through them, and I will fall in love.
And, like Hedda Gabler, one doesn’t do such things.
Instead I listen to your mood, imagine clarinets
playing your words. As you talk abstractly
about Old Man Gloom and how hippie bullshit turned
into Burning Man, the passion in your condescension
draws me closer; but if I smile, you will think I am weak.
I give my feminine nod, hoping just a bit
that you will notice my eyelashes, slightly turned.
I listen–but you pause. I feel your gaze weigh upon
me with expectation, its gravity alone
an interrogative, without an answer I…
dare not speak. If you reached out now to touch
my flesh, you would find me, four decades of wounds
I could not withhold: would you accept that gift?
Eyes still shirking, my fingers twitch a bit toward you.