464: Chance Meeting

464: Chance Meeting

464: Chance Meeting

Chance Meeting
by Susan Browne

I know him, that man
walking- toward me up the crowded street
of the city, I have lived with him
seven years now, I know his fast stride,
his windy wheatfield hair, his hands thrust
deep in his jacket pockets, hands
that have known my body, touched
its softest part, caused its quick shudders
and slow releasings, I have seen his face
above my face, his mouth smiling, moaning
his eyes closed and opened, I have studied
his eyes, the brown turning gold at the centers,
I have silently watched him lying beside me
in the early morning, I know his loneliness,
like mine, human and sad,
but different, too, his private pain
and pleasure I can never enter even as he comes
closer, past trees and cars, trash and flowers,
steam rising from the manhole covers,
gutters running with rain, he lifts his head,
he sees me, we are strangers again,
and a rending music of desire and loss—
I don’t know him—courses through me,
and we kiss and say, It’s good to see you,
as if we haven’t seen each other in years
when it was just a few hours ago,
and we are shy, then, not knowing
what to say next.

“Chance Meeting” from BUDDHA'S DOGS by Susan Browne. Copyright © 2016 by Susan Browne. Used by permission of Four Way Books.