Just another love story

Tell me how it all began, she asked again

as she paused, spoon over cup,

dripping coffee unseen.

She turned to look into the night

street lights dancing in her eyes

and laughed, not at something I said –

I said nothing at all, nothing of consequence –

perhaps it was someone at another table

or maybe she was laughing at the thoughts in her head

she did that, from time to time.

The cafe’s jazz played on, sugar-laced,

stepping surefooted across curling smoke,

and I knew then that I would not tell her

what she wanted to hear,

that I would keep watching her watching the street

plying her with dressed up desserts and coffees and easy smiles,

feeding myself on vain hopes that she would not slip away,

slip out into the night (though I knew she would, one day).

No, I would not tell her the story she wanted to hear,

nothing of the easy nights we’d spend together,

or the hard days, youthful angst tearing at our hearts.

I would not say that from the beginning, it was already ending,

that her path and mine had already begun, over coffee,

their wide divergence.


4 thoughts on “Just another love story

  1. This reminded me of a line from a song that has stuck with me for many years: “No one ever knows or loves another.”
    I was especially struck by the opening sequence–the disconnect–and by this amazing image:

    jazz played on, sugar-laced,
    stepping surefooted across curling smoke,

    Beautiful work. 🙂

    • Hm, I read that lyric as referring to a first love. I had a picture in my mind of two people sitting in a cafe, a young couple, him with some kind of fore-knowledge, and her blissfully unaware. Then I realized it was my first boyfriend and me. So it all kind of fits. I’m glad you liked the jazz line – took me a while to get it right. Thank you!

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