The last table is taken. You nod when asked if I can join you.
Pass me the cream. No glance. No words. Your sleeves pushed
up, lips thin, a brushstroke of red. I ask you the time. You tell
me how to catch fire. How to hold the spark, the correct way;
how to live with ashes and dust. You want to teach me to rub
the stain from a crucible, polish it, hold it to flame until my
breath turns to smoke. You tell me everything I am thinking
is true. That aqua blue is the color of sincerity. That shyness
is a refuge, desolation a virtue. The café empties. Streetlamps
flicker, the city struggles to stay awake. We are unnoticed.
The final stop. I study the curve of your mouth, want you
to feel the weight of loss in the palm of your hand; consider
the heft of grief, its angles and curves. Share the heaviness
that comes with remembering.