Stranger always there in the back row of the theater, one night mid-bow I see you sitting next to my father, so I invite you out for coffee after. It turns out you’ve known him since forever. And known me, too. And also knew his father. Your face is patient: one I might, on some other night, even call kind, if I didn’t know already exactly what you have in mind. Still, there’s no bargaining I can do. I elect at last to sit mutely with you – our common tongue – steam rising in wraiths from your plain dark cup.

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