I Go Cold with the Memory of It; Green Light

I Go Cold with the Memory of It

I go cold with the memory of it.

If I smiled, he would smile back,

but neither of us was smiling.

It was the dead of night

in the dead centre

of a dead year.

The fire too had gone dead,
but from want of attention,

for sticks enough were at hand.

It had ceased to cast light and shadow,

but the dim bulb overhead, through flickers,

spread an indifferent aura.

A waxen pallor suffused

the lines of his face.

How long we sat there like that

I can not tell you,

but I heard a high wind come up,

and I heard it wane.

At the end, when he rose to leave,

I wanted to speak.

I wanted to break the spell, to hazard my life.

But words would not come, so instead

I reached out my hand.

He stared at my hand a moment,

then passed through the door.

Green Light

The light changed to green, but the car I was in

remained as it was, at ease,

its engine quietly running,

exhaust quietly making its exit.

The cars behind it weren’t quiet,

at least after the first few seconds,

for their horns, first one, then a few,

expressed their concern.

It all seems strange where I am now,

and it all seems a bit silly,

but then that’s how we are, I suppose,

or I should say that’s how I was.

I still can remember those horns

as they became louder and then stopped

once a face, and then a few faces,

appeared at the windows.

But the memory is fading now.

I barely recall the opening of the car door,

the turning off of the key,

the concerned attentions they gave me.

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