Juror’s Requiem

Could be small drops
of Eastern European blood
in my veins—a Polish cynic
leaning into the light. Could be
the quiet I seek to escape
into without a translator
to jar me awake. A weekend’s worth
of forgotten dreams and whisperings
sworn on ice
and still

I can’t shake your face
in profile. Presumed innocence
and feature-flattening, color-draining
fear. Your perfectly enunciated
“Thank you!” lifted me
higher than any Art Deco
elevator transporting me
to the top of the Foshay Tower.
It’s a blessing
to choose well.

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