Monday, August 8, 2022

Where No One’s Looking In

People move every which way.
Even when there’s no conflict,
There’s too much tangled intent.

A fortnight after her death,
Her ex, widowed suddenly,
Past their long separation

Finally close to divorce,
Found himself being courted
Just as unexpectedly

By friends in a rivalry
Neither one would acknowledge.
He hid out in a cafe

In the heart of the city
Where running into either
Of the friends was unlikely

And considered, silently,
Life’s addition of a ghost.
On the phone at his elbow,

Text messages blinked. Greetings.
Condolences. Flirtation.
Flirtation. Condolences.

Questions about the ashes.
Her debts, insurance, estate.
At the end, even her name

Had come unglued. Her last friends
Knew her as someone other
Than her family had known.

She’d died several states away
From anyone who’d been close.
She’d died in hiding, drinking,

As he was now hiding, dry.
Condolences. Flirtation.
He looked out of the window.

That’s what you do when you think,
He thought. When you don’t know what
To do, what you ought to do,

Don’t know what you want to do,
Don’t want to do anything.
You stare out of a window.

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