Mind in the Time

Remember that, she says, as we sit sipping coffee, I was all whipped-cream nosed.

It has been 40 years since we sat across from each other.

Yes, I say, in the Palmer House, with all that gold and glass, and the mirrors.
We watched ourselves eating Belgian waffles, and you missed your mouth.

We laugh, and she says, Wasn’t it wonderful to see the Broadway cast of A Chorus Line?

Yes, I say, it was one of the best experiences of the all the times we had.

Yes, she says, and it was the last time we ate together, remember?

I nod, my head making it look like I confirm the memory,
but it’s my heart disbelieving away the 40 years since then,
the 40 years blurring every thought of what might have been.

I see you look the same, she says, except for the gray hair.

And the thirty pounds I put on since I quit smoking, I add, nodding.

I used to bum cigarettes from you, though I hated them, and you smoking.

I tell her she looks the same, but she doesn’t; we obviously don’t.
Both of us know it’s just polite conversation, reflections of the final time we talked.

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