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The ache
in the strangest places:
the grocery store,
a bus ride.

Walking there
I see a sign:
"Ballard Time Shop."
How much, I wonder,
to buy back what I've lost?

The pint beside me
at the bar
transforms over time:
amber shrinking,
clear glass growing,
until a cardboard coaster
stands revealed.

As I watch her play,
(slender brown arm
draped over her guitar)
I notice my thumb
rubbing circles
inside my other palm:
it tries, I think,
to fill the space
where another hand ought be.

The palm smiles softly
at the valiant yet futile
effort of the
noble thumb:
it knows, somehow,
what belongs there.

Riding home, I rest
my forehead
on my wrist
on the seat
before me:
if the tears come,
I want
no one
to see.


Dear Lee,

That was beautiful brother.

Your friend,