He arrives at the bookstore
lilies ablaze on one arm, a cane on the other.
Haltingly he walks into a neon haze,
his face scanning the aisles for me.
Married again with three children,
his MS progressing, he's not the cocky
young man. He sits off a bit from the others,
face averted as I read. I'm nervous
and then I'm annoyed at myself.
Back then, how the poems scared us.
Whenever I wrote, he'd come up behind me
ordering juice or lunch, anything to peer over
my shoulder, to find whatever wildness in me
was on the page. Even now I wonder
what might hurt him, what I should hide.
But later, when we have coffee, he
strokes the book cover, his hand gliding
over my name. He's shy, but he's clearly pleased,
remembering fragments, people we knew,
places we lived.
Awed by what falls away,
from the terrible mistakes we make -
I nearly burn my tongue on the latte.
Once my Husband