could have seemed more mundane

than an accidental Safeway run-in

after you simply stopped your pursuit

and, instead, went after groceries.

You wore brown, reminding me

of New Yorkers I used to watch,

in grey flannel flesh,

seemingly unfamiliar with sun.

Nothing more mundane.

Just grey and brown and we had to,

or I did, speak. You had been the sun,

the foreign flare, bursting last time

we met with life.


You saw me again and your hands

hung from your jacket

like leaves dead early on branches

in another fall. Nothing of life

was left, neither precious gold or warmth,

or Spanish rhythm. Only packaged meat

and bagged produce. Hands off,

and an explanation I had to buy.


by Alita Pirkopf


Alita’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Alembic, Caduceus, The Chaffin Journal, The Distillery, The Griffin, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Harpur Palate, Illya’s Honey, Lullwater Review, Quiddity, RiverSedge, Ship of Fools, Westview, and Willow Springs Review.

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