Water Memories

“Water Memories” © 2011 by Jane Shoenfeld

Edging to the back of the bus,
my jagged fingernail snags
a lovely stranger’s sweater,

draws us closer for a spell,
clutching to disentangle.
I wonder if she notices
neither wears a ring.

In a script less polite
than the one we follow,
our brushing fingers kindle
an agreeable friction,

and after several rides,
she becomes my wife
until our hair turns white.

But in today’s version,
each is so sorry,
and quick to disengage,

abiding by the fiction
of our separate lives.

Previous Lives, Red Mountain Press