Art Gephyr

Old Friend

What a different course
our lives would have taken
if I found then
the surge of courage
to lift me from where I laid
mere feet closer to you.

One leg in front of the other
across a heavy room. Below,
the regular rhythms
of after-hour stop lights,
desolate streets
broken by the longing serenade
of a neglected car alarm,
sharp on repressed desires.

Whether or not to cross
that irreversible boundary,
knowing that we
would not have remained today
as we have been since then.

But how I wished to have felt
your breath in my ear,
the turbulent nuisance
of narrow nasal passages
easily recognizable from afar.
How I wished to have wandered
down the hand, up the arm,
sunburnt freckled skin,
on the wayward path
of a crooked vein.

Now after distance,
years and roads diverged,
we briefly pause again.
You -- West. I -- East.
You -- In the moment.
I -- Broken between
past and future.

I will never forget
that smile on your face,
that precise moment you knew
and freely looked back to say...
"You're beautiful!"