A glance in passing at the pinball machine
With the bell chiming triple points,
I thought you were him, waiting for beautiful Suzanne to be done with her shift.
He would play there, always with an open bottle of Bud untouched, until her apron came off,
And she was free to challenge him to a game.
She held all the quarters.
I glide by you holding a tray up in my hand,
Table two was waiting for delivery of their gin and tonic
You, at his height,
You, with his stance,
Time reached forward to tug at my hips as I passed by.
The pull of here and now,
The free falling back to days shared,
The spin of things unknown before us,
I felt it.
Forty years from now,
Or whenever you and I are only a foot apart,
I take a napkin of the top of the stack on my tray and set the drink down.
Thanks sugar, the stranger says, keep the change.
Smile and keep moving, always moving, I turn to see
That your hair is dark,
You bang your palms on the glass and curse.
The tenor, this curse, your voice, freezes my next step.
In the sound that travels on, a chirp of two black holes colliding,
The beginning, an endearment in hearing you cuss.
That. Then. Now.
A dog, a son, a daughter.
You turn and face me.
In the space of that met stare, our newfound bewilderment.
We will dote on our grandchildren as if they are the second coming.
We will know the rage in each other.
Always the first to laugh at the other’s joke.
I smile back as I walk up to your empty glass.
Umm, you say, can I get another?
Of course, I answer, I’ll let your server know.