She’s acting fearless again.
Withholding her drab secret,
two cigarettes burning at once.
Her eyes seem tired and distant
without her usual battered grin.
As if she'd been struck too often
by ambiguous verbal jabs.
Holding on to confidence that’s
slipping from her mind like
marbles falling through the broken
corner of a sopping paper sack.
She’s restored when she’s alone.
She settles into partial comfort
and compares the risk of loving
with memories of consequence.
When I come by to see her,
I taste sugar on her tongue.
I feel the space that she’s allowed
for my unspoken misconceptions.
She’s not as fragile as she looks.
And because her heart creates
the now belonging that I seek,
I find I miss her.