HAND IN HAND
It’s a November night and the wind
sends dry, fallen leaves flying around us
as we walk down Market Street.
We are talking about music and sucking on peppermints
from the quiet Italian restaurant where we just shared
grilled salmon and penne with a creamy vodka sauce.
It has been a good night.
On other nights you’ve come to me with
your eyes wet and your composure in a heap
on the floor with the day’s clothes
and said “I love you.”
You’ve opened up the cages inside you and let me touch
the things that bite and snarl.
You caught me hurling my pebbles into a crowd,
at my mother’s bedroom door,
And still, you kissed each of my burning fingers.
But my mother and father
are in the backyard raking dead leaves in the cold.
And it says, “Love” on those new thirty-two cent postage stamps.
Soon orange juice cartons and boxes of kitty litter
will wear our sacred understanding.
We walk hand in hand.
Part of me smiles and part of me insists upon wondering;
Who is holding tighter? Am I doing all the holding?
Is your palm sweaty, and do you secretly
want to pull away
and wave to someone in the distance?
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