Runcible Spoon

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Before I met his eyes,

I saw his hands.

Large, slender and strong

enough to haul the weight

of my heavy suitcase

up onto the train. Relieved

I’d made my connection,

I glanced across to thank him.


I was close, level with his chest,

smelt the leather of his worn jacket

salt and cigarettes, mixed with skin.


I lifted my head, Cheers …

my sentence fizzled away.

I gazed into his face

surely hewn from Mount Rushmore.

Arcs and plains cracked up

by animated autumn eyes

and Cupid’s mouth

parted to frame cuspid teeth.


I averted my eyes,

sought safety. Drank in

his disarrayed, grey waves.

At least they couldn’t look back.

You’re welcome, he said.


I started from my daze,

my cheeks bloomed roseate.

and I cursed my rogue longings

too naked to contemplate.


You’d like a coffee? Am I right?

I nodded, mute with thirst.

Ok, sit here. Right next to me.

He swayed down the aisle

confident, sure-footed. This man,

anyone could see,

had never lost his footing.


Well, he’d better start with me.