Brett Candace

On Seeing You Again

On Seeing You Again 
After All These Years
Like a tree falling, soil brittle 
between the roots, branches spanning 
the absence of clouds, is how 
he comes down to hug me. 
And out of this tree, a lean-to is built—
jacket hitched over his left arm, 
over his left hand, his finger, 
second-from-the left—
sheltering the present from the iron 
clouds of the past, 
pressing space between them
like a bookmark, 
Even yet, when the sun 
beats so heavily in her 
face not even the vacancy 
in pupil can cool the gold melting 
in those irises of reflect. 
Staring hot and dumbly, smile cracked 
into mild gape–a tomato in the sun, 
for as long as focus moves unidirectional. 
A gunshot in the silence, 
it bleeds serendipity from its wound 
as someone kicks, again, at the wedge 
grafted between the floor and splice of door. 
Behind, his and hers stand
unconspiringly close at the buffet, 
bent tirelessly on fill, awareness
drifting in the interim like smoke.
Reaching for the ladle together 
their hands brake before its heat, 
and sputter with the laughter of accident. 
Each laughing at their own startled reflections 
in the others’ eyes.
Comfort shakes its head, tossing its 
mane in a lazy effort to remain awake. 
Memory molding over 
what today has been thinking.
I held the hand of the man I did not know. 
13 and street-crossing for the first time alone. 
I had forgotten 
I was alone. Had forgotten I was alone until, 
slipping past his palm, I ran into the lock 
between his fingers, and it rang up my arm, 
a bell behind each eye. 
I was not alone in my surprise, 
was not alone in my blush of encounter. 


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