Smile in the Dark

Some afternoons,
a little flutter,
like leaves in the breeze,
that quickly glue themselves
back to the sky.

Lips remember,
or fingertips,
perhaps the arch of a foot
stretches in rehearsed nostalgia.

And then nothing.
All is still. The air is inert.
Not even a zephyr breathes
at the nape of a heated neck.

Like a practised movement,
one bar after another,
one key after another,
memory moves on,
time ticks on.
Summer mellows,
aiming its russet paintbrush
at the waiting treetops.

It never was.
It wasn’t remembered.
Nothing betrayed your non-existence.
No soundless sigh.
No tightened fist.
Nothing except
the steady non-gaze of unseeing eyes.

But tonight, a new rustle,
autumn leaves in the breeze,
lips remember,
and fingertips,
voices push through the door.
And the stars can see,
all alone,
a little spark,
a flash of pain
and a smile
curving up in the dark.

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