Blown away, dishabille, on the verge
of drowning in a shower, she could
the real beliefs
you held inside your strong jaw. The words,
the way you selected them
from a menu she never got to hold in her hands, the way
you enunciated, an ever so slight
lisp, that tiny gap between your teeth. You could
mix potent vodka martinis, she could
drink twice what she should have
been able to for a woman so small. You were
in awe. The reckless collisions—lasting
sometimes till dawn—would continue, on
for seven years. It was not bad luck. It was not
commitment, it was not easy
to define in daylight. Then she was gone. If you noticed
she left the city, you didn’t let on.
You moved on—responsibility, a doctorate, a job, a wife.
One evening, it all becomes poison on your tongue: dark
beer, cycling routes, words
you never figured out how to pronounce.
So you put down the bottle, sensing
she has put down hers. Beneath the same moon
you are afraid to gaze at, she lives
in a Midwestern city, where putting down the bottle
has beome an art. You shiver, realizing she might
finally get you, might forgive your lisp. Neither of you can know
if you will meet again. Maybe it would be better
to leave it this way. Blown away was
beautiful in its time.