He opens a book like I do,
with a wary apprehension,
but knowing that, like a blind date,
the first words will inevitably disappoint.
Undaunted, he flips the pages and I can’t tell
(the sunglasses obscure his eyes)
if he’s engrossed or merely falling asleep.
For this afternoon, with the breeze too lazy to rustle the potted plants,
the zinnias wilting like widows,
he is my book, slow to let his secrets unfold, turning
slightly away as if aware
no reveal should come too fast,
or maybe he’s simply bored or searching
the pavement for a sign
of life, a carpenter ant scrambling,
a gossamer dragonfly
he would call “majestic”
if we got as far as words.
And his do not