When We Meet

By Mark Thomas

1.What We Saw

inside his smile was a shark’s fin at surfer’s paradise
and inside his invitation were the next-door Joneses

inside his small talk was a pair of callipers
and inside his monotone was his father’s rusty toolbox

inside the pockets of his marriage was a note from his mother

inside his question was the chalk outline of a crime scene
and inside his question was a season ticket to the blitz

inside the question was his Sunday suit
a size too small for any answer but his own.

2. In the Moment

At the outer edge of what we call our selves
we meet; the blank page lies between.

Fine brush-marks draw from the inkwell of us both:
new lines arc, stretch across the page, emerge
as sketch – room, table, bottle, glasses.                        

The room takes on perspective, light and shade
coloured by neither but by both –
we are the bottle, we are the wine,
full, rich-bodied.

We drink and as we drink
we take a little of the other inside.

This inter-change, inevitable as breath is
the architecture of connection, and
at every meeting at the outer edges

of what we call our self a new page lies between,

We might call this hope.

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