Meeting Again, After Heine

By Susan Wheeler

The moon rose like a blooming flower.
The tin in the hand clattered its charge.
We walked by in the wavering hour,
I looking away, you chattering hard.

Met by luck, with like destinations,
We startled again at what ended in pique.
Strollers out, seeing us, had no notion;
A car alarm cycled its querulous shriek;

Eighth Street sank in the crack of its nightfall;
You pressed your satisfactions on me.
You in your urgency remarked after all
Kindling your passion was enmity;

Passion had finally erased your calm,
Made composure a prop of the past.
I mugged that street noise, din, bedlam,
Prevented my hearing your story at last.

As I walked home the strollers were thinning,
The moon bobbed above roofs like a ball,
The shade at the bus stop waved to me, beckoning,
And I nodded fast in the fast nightfall.

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