By Joseph Hesch
They shared so short a time together,
neither understood why the memory
of the other lasted so long, so strong.
The shadow outline of a man approaching,
her head down in thought,
always gave her heart a start
and her mind a whirl.
All these years she obsessively searched
to find the courage to share again.
She thought she came close once, but...
her vision obstructed
by a soft silken bond and cold steel fear.
For his part, that certain scent of
a woman passing on the street or in
a crowded stairway would bring his head up
like a hound's hunting for a hoodoo.
And then…the pounding disappointment.
He told himself he would have settled
for an unmarked, unsigned card from her.
She could have rubbed it between
her soft, warm palms and he would recognize
the sender, the memory of her fragrance
still as fresh today
as that of flowers in his hand.
Lately, they learned lessons about themselves
that uncovered their eyes.
He finally recognizes nobody could be
so perfect as she, except, for a time,
his next imperfect iteration of her.
And she, her shadowy, so-so specter of him.
So they just stopped trying.
Resigned, they are, that life will
never be perfect for them.
Passable, patient will have to do,
until the next one.