across this table
quivering light-streaked lines, some straight, some long, all crooked and dazzling against the man-made lake beside us
course through our conversation.
i’ve been cold so long
my life stories spill out like hours-old eggs on a rusting plate,
set behind glass for affect-less observation
but i know how fresh they remain
your eyes shine, huge,
one of those tiny white lines bifurcates the blue-green iris of your left eye.
i just keep talking.
the food arrives,
animals and embarrassment creeping up around us,
threatening like known dangers found
in a cave of many-times-revisited adventure. fear.
we lighten it with laughter,
so funny about a first date—
you must compress two and more decades
of love, and hatred, and anger, and fear
into three to four stories, told with a smile, detached. flattering in your indifference to them.
the food is getting cold ‘cause
i won’t touch it
for fear this moment will become