years from now
we'll sit across from each other in some
coffeehouse filled with punks & wannabes, try to
slice the tension with our plastic butterknives.
i'll say, do you remember
when you loved me?
& you'll smile awkwardly, try to change
the subject to
(i won't listen, but i'll remember
for us both.)
you'll see what's the same: slightly
crooked smile, bangles on my wrists. all
the nervous habits
you couldn't break.
i'll see the things that
changed: the lipstick
that makes your mouth passion red; the earrings
you never used to wear. i'll know
you aren't dressing up for me.
you'll check your watch.
& when we leave you'll volunteer to pay
(but i insist).
i'll hug you, feel you uncomfortable
in my arms. my heart will break a little
(but i'll be all right).
black numbers, white business card:
call, you'll say, if
you need anything.
& of course i will, i'll
but could you excuse me? i have
to use the ladies room --
where, in the furthest stall from the door,
i tear up your number & cry
before reapplying my mascara
and going back to face the world.
(i never thought i could
without you, you know.)