Five Hesitations
by William Aarnes

On the way to the interview
she almost asked
the cab driver
to take her back
to where she hailed him.
Now she stands
outside the office building,
having twice gone full circle
in the revolving door.


He rebuttons
one of the two buttons
she’s unbuttoned.


Two weeks ago
he collected the tests
he’s yet to read,
though last night
he recorded the grades.
Now he heads toward the classroom,
the folder still on his desk.


She closes the email
with “Fondly”—
only to delete the word.
and save the message

Back home
from having blood drawn,
he gets up from his breakfast
to erase the time
of his next appointment
from the calendar.

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