I met her.
Cynics have mocked me
said she didn't exist
but I've always known better.
Her tangibility dulls the pang.
I didn't even get to buy her a drink.
Brown strands of hair
that escaped her ponytail's cinching
landed behind her ears.
Every few minutes she'd
swipe her hand across her forehead
to gather any rebellious conspirators
and return them to their cousins.
Somewhere between sips
I imagined having the honor
of doing that for her
on a hungover Sunday morning
with the blinds drawn
as we smiled, close-mouthed
to contain the stench of stomachs.
Then she snapped me out of it.
Asked what I do.
I stammered on about writing and piping.
Left out the part about falling for strangers.
She seemed content with my answer.
So did her husband.
I met him shortly after she told me
the tale of buying a house
here in town.
He seems great.
Undeserving as the rest of us, but great.
Couples like that are rare outside film.
I meant both handshakes.
Even the second.
I wished them both the best
and walked her friend home instead.
It's about a search for
a sweet spot in this killer life
or at least not becoming
an ascetic hermit
who blows out candles
for the smell of it
over and over all night
since he never once surprised them
by leading with the left.
If you want me to talk
about snowflakes landing on eyelashes
I can, but wouldn't mean it.
"American Short Fiction: Volume 16, Issue 56 (Fall 2013)".