To Place a Face

I am standing in line for coffee.

Even though the social distance floor dots have disappeared,

everyone stands a decent distance away from each other.

The Japanese woman in front of me turns around,

maybe to make sure I’m not standing too close.

Oh, she says, hi, how are you?

I’m not sure she’s talking to me,

do a quick glance behind me,

turn back.

She means me.

Oh, I’m fine, and you? I ask.

Good. I’m good. It’s been a long time.

Yes, yes it has, I say.

It’s her turn to order.

I can’t place the face.

The mask does not help my memory,

but it doesn’t seem to have hindered her recognizing me.

She heads to the waiting area.

I put in my order and go to wait as well.

Are you retired now? she asks.

Yes, yes I am, I say.

I can’t tell her age and don’t ask if she is retired.

She’s not young,

but I wouldn’t want to insult her

if she’s not that old.

They call her order.

Well, take care, she says.

A small wave and smile.

You too, I say.

I watch her walk away.

I pick up my coffee,

resume my walk.

I wonder who she is.

And then it hits me.

Oh yes.

We were once in love.

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