The lights are hiding, shadows pulled over them,

And I hide with them in this quaint conservatory.

She sits opposite me, near a window, smoking hookah.

Is she a phantom? What little light there is dances on her skin,

Her chest rises upon each inhalation and subsides at every puff.

Standing up, I walk to her until we are one cubit's length apart.

"Five years later, my offer remains."

She is not here, she was never here.

I am not here. This conservatory preserves a nonplace, a nonwhen, a chance I never had.

All that was gold is diminished to nude ash and I'll see her at our best friend's party.