During the silence
I look down at the table,
see our hands and the hook
of the umbrella's handle,
bent to form a question mark,
a set place to hold on to.
I turn away not wanting to notice
the frailness of collective fingers,
the unanimous pleas to be touched.
For one moment all four hands seem brilliant
as stones that live in sea water--
our wrists exposed, calling
like an empty beach.
It's over so quickly
I can't tell if you've seen
me watching, trying to decipher
if our hands could reach--
clasp themselves dangerously
inside each other.
Or should the palms' imbedded heart lines
vote against contact,
choose to remain uncharted,
resplendent as the separate bodies
at this restaurant tonight;
the umbrella swaying on the table's edge,
waiting to comply with the weather.