On My Own
by Steve Mueske


    the woman
    with her heart caught
    in her throat
    gets out of the car,
    stands on the street
    overlooking the dark ocean.

    there is a song
    playing in her mind,
    an Al Di Meola piece
    at once familiar and sad,
    but the title escapes her.


    the man,
    sitting in a diner
    in another part of the country,
    looks up from his coffee
    and sees his reflection
    in the plate glass window.

    in the middle distance
    there is an image of her
    answering the door
    on a cold winter evening:

    he steps into the lit
    entryway and wraps
    his arms around her,
    glad to get out of the snow
    and into where it is warm.


    as a cold finger of wind
    draws a strand of hair across her forehead,
    she suddenly recalls the name of the song.

    in the diner, the image of her fades.
    he finishes his coffee, smokes
    a cigarette and pays the bill.

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