She’s just north of five
I’m just south of six
We meet when the sun is in her eyes
She sips her coffee like a junkie
High-grade, prescription

Our conversation is timid
Does she want me?
She breaks cadence to solve equations
Why do I want her
Why now
Not like this

A man approaches
Pseudo-spiritual, demi-intellectual
He’s teaching English overseas
The fall, perhaps
They’ve been together, I think
I’m not threatened
His beard has food in it
Something about spices
She says he loves her. The spice girl.

We find a bookstore after the fountain
The first wasn’t up to her standards
It reeks of age
She picks out recommendations
Hands them up from the floor
Am I falling in love?
The way she says Camus like Camoo
I’m a puppy

The bar is our last stop
We pull a full shift
Her chest is pushed out
Smile uncontrolled
I’m attracted to her mind
She doesn’t buy it

It’s getting late
We leave our stoop
What did this mean?
Is she the one?

We stop and look at the ants
Soldiers swirling en masse
The streetlight their noon

Her bike slides in the gate
I walk away gently; no expectations
“Take care.”

I would have…
Should have…

We’ve barely spoken since