Quartet Tryst
by Paul Anand



En route to somewhere else, they said,
She had cleared the decks.
Her house was empty and glamorous, theirs alone.
Reflecting on a chance meeting in some foreign clime
They exchanged notes from a century of life apart.
Considerate and thoughtful in the day,
They downed cocktails by night
Returning home
To bump tables
Break glass
And waltz through perfect nights that could not end.

Twelve months later he flew back.
She drove them to a sleek bar shimmering in spring haze,
Edged by the warm lawns
Of the city museum dripping with art.
She knew he loved these things
And they drank
And ate
And found a divan that permitted all.
Consumed, but out of equilibrium,
He crawled away
Daring to phone only from a terminal bar.

A year on she collected him once more,
Blonde hair had greyed to the
Colour of Tiffany diamonds, even more wondrous than before.
Sipping smooth ceviches, they sat close
Knees and laps modestly brushing,
And then to bed
In which an earring fell
As if to mark the spot.
His Tuscan bread soup was slightly odd but
Then so was her daughter’s boyfriend.
There were longeurs, its true, but
She kitten jumped into his arms as he left,
So perhaps all would be well.

The last occasion was polite,
you might almost say cordial.
In a wet Southern winter,
He rang the bell
And from behind a florist’s spray
The size of an elephant’s ear,
Offered a timid, surprise hello.
You’d better come in.
They talked
And drank
But when asked for a hug
She explained and gave him her bed.
Sliding the door from the outside and off quietly before the sun
She bequeathed only cook books for morning conversation.

A final brunch for education or closure – it isn’t clear,
Suggested that irons should be struck when hot
She had to move on, filet the memories.
He understood.
But her frame and scent and voice,
intense for but a few days,
had rewired his sense of what a person could be
leaving unfilled void and imprints he would never regret.





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