“Neither now nor then”

To the lady in the wine bar
sitting between her mother
and her best friend,
you sip on that Moscato
like two clouds parting
for the sun.
I listen to you,
as you smack your lipsticked mouth.
Are those wedding plans I hear?
The centerpieces are taken care of
but the menu still needs tasting?
Your dirty, curled blonde hair,
tossed from ear to ear,
reminds me
of someone so unavailable,
so very far from here.
I am thankful you don't notice
me noticing you. It's not you
I see, but someone I'm remembering;
someone so unavailable,
so very far from here.
You, as I see you, now, are someone
so unavailable, yet so very near.
I'm uncertain
which is more painful;
the memory in my mind
or the image in my eye.
I raise my glass
and toast to never
standing a chance,
neither here nor there.
I raise my glass
and toast to you.
Timing, it seems, is always off
when it comes to these things,
but on, so on, when it comes
to the ripening, the picking,
and the aging
of the wine I drink
to forget time
and the wine I drink
to remember
how light lays like
thinned fog
on faces like yours.

narrative poem written on 12-21-2016 by: on mattkane.com
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