The first encounter

He was not certain what they had spoken about first.
Then he recalled rather fondly the evening they first met.
Had she said something about the sky clearing up?
He had gone down to the bridge over the canal,
As he was want to do, to empty his thoughts.
The water was as flat as a mirror on that night.
The surface was particularly beautiful if the sky was clear.
Especially at night but if there were low clouds,
Yellow light from the town’s streetlights
Tended to bounce off of the clouds and the reflection would be tinged,
No, that wasn’t accurate, more like, be suffused, with a yellowish glow,
As though a noxious gas had leaked from the works across the way.
But that night was clear when she first approached him.
Yes, now he remembers, the first words she spoke to him.
She walked up to him inquiring about a light for a cigarette.
He didn’t have one, he didn’t smoke.
She placed the cigarette back in its pack.
His good friend had always insisted that if you observed closely
Your first encounter or exchange with someone, anyone,
Well, you might realise it was a foreshadowing of the whole relationship.
She had said she hadn’t smoked in a few years.
She had bought a pack on a whim, she had just wanted one smoke,
For old times sake, she supposed and she had forgotten to pick up a light.
He thinks, she had said, ah rubbish, and she told him much later
She never wanted a cigarette ever again, it was a filthy habit,
Not worth re-igniting, her words not his.
They had split from their respective spouses not long after that first encounter,
Rather coincidentally and not so much directly because of each other.
Though for some reason that night had been pivotal.
It would be another year and a bit before they met again.
He asked her to have a coffee and they had listened to each other speak
For hours into the afternoon and long after the cafe had closed.
They had walked and found a bench in the park,
Continuing until long after dark.

About the author

I compose poems as rooms in an amaranthine building. I photograph intimate portraits of artists, dancers, musicians, and experiences. I assist in theater, as well as television and film, with sets and props. I synthesize sounds as a musician with Ghostlight in Toronto.