Serendipidous Meeting

His dented brow in the black-orange light

turned me inward.

He explained a fall down an apartment staircase,

a scarf that staunched the bleeding,

a mother holding vigil by his hospital bed.

His lips, two pink parentheses, framed, “I’m not sorry about it,”

and he gazed into his drink with a cock-eyed furrow.

Lifted, I uncrossed my arms and spoke of my own lost footing,

no longer clinging to the deceptive railings

that’ve kept me upright for so long.

“I wish that’d happened to me,” I even said,

though it came out as insensitive and naïve.

I wish I had a scar to show

for my own impaired sense of direction.

Things tumble down, but we tumbled out, there,

swathed by barroom chatter and our tall-back booth.

I traced my forefinger over his jagged scar, his dimpled temple,

and recognized the heat, the pulse of letting go.

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