You sit so far from me—across napkins, tables, tines—the nervous animal of your shoulders bunching—don’t worry, I won’t ask you to confide—only social news, your sudden dinners with others—jokes you said—rice you ate—how your eyes opened wide—that laugh that ordered my afternoons—we rode buses—chewed turkey and cheese—but summer’s over, and I understand I do not own you or the bones in your cheeks—arched back like a sun shade opening, as he sits near—I burn—twisting this cloth like a lead

Virginia McLure