LE PAIN

me watching for roger
The streets all look the same after a while
Paris
Madrid
Rome
differentiated only by lettering on signs.
I am in a cafe in America.
The menu boasts “le pain.”
Beside me, two old women
chatter in French.
I eavesdrop the way I did in Nimes
understanding something about a husband
(or son?)
the rain
a cake
as I look out the window watching for you
like always.
Even when you’re half a continent away
I watch.
The miracle of you happens from time to time.
Why not today
way on the other side of the world?
People
win lotteries
strike oil
find bags of cash in floorboards.
Why not me?
I remember a day decades ago
sitting in a window like this one
Boise?
Barcelona?
Who knows?
but you came
and all the pain I’d ever known
washed clean as you passed.
I gasped.
You didn’t even see me seeing you
but I knew for sure I loved you
by the way my breath caught in my throat
and cut it.
My veins drained white
coiled themselves into the shape of your name.
I never forgot.
Your hair was longer then.
You wore brown leather,
and if I had to paint a picture of forever
I’d paint your eyes as you passed
staring at the sidewalk’s brick face
being marred a millimeter at a time
by snow freckles.
Today, I wait again
remembering the way you looked at me
across the bar that night
your eyes saying everything
I ever wanted to hear.
You showed up
after all those years.
I knew for sure you loved me then.
I’ll never forget.
And when I die
I imagine what I will remember of this life
is the big things
The pain
The births
The deaths
The way my breath caught in my throat
when I watched out the windows in
Edinburgh
Rome
Jerome
and once in a while
thunder rolled
the sky split open
spitting snow
and I won the lottery
because
you came.
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