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in she walks
a fragile eyeful
light as a scarf

with a lack of glitter
that makes her, herself
shine so

and a winsome prettiness
broken only by her balance
on the edge of pain

there he stands
hard and weathered and worn
five years gone from this woman

boy, why you laughin? she asks
a little wild around the eyes

a girl sure does get around, he says
fingers gently tracing the curve of her chin

she winks at him
to show she is not serious
proving that she is

a life in need of mending
she is awfully young
even for her age

she shuts her eyes tight
leaving the outside world
for a safer one within

the only time she could bring herself
to say she was sorry was
when she was not

her eyes opening now
saying nothing, suggesting everything
an erotic history complete with footnotes

for what had seemed forever it was summer
then the deep purple did indeed fall

her heart boxes her chest
she's carrying it deep
a sharp piece of flint way in her belly

saying nothing in return
he gives each the worst pain
unfinished letters, sweetheart snapshots
crumbling little Kodak children that never were

awful forever, but yesterday's

she smiles
the fiercest smile he ever saw on a human face
she waves
and he didn't know if it was hello, goodbye, or both

at that moment, she hates him
for what he had let her do to him, to her
the thing not spoken is always the essential
and she could play anything but herself, having no self

she turns, silent, eyes dry as a snake's skin
visiting hours are over
she wears her mask all the way home

we all, sometimes, leave each other
out there under the empty skies
and we never understand why

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