Steven Andreev

November 29, 1994 - London
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When We Met Again

“The day you left, everything changed”.
I stared at the wood-clad wall in the room, watching
How she pulled silk jacket off her weary shoulders.
Light dwindled as she passed by neon lamp
Glowing on table that separated us at my home.

Shade fell on her face, as she sat in the chair
And lit a cigarette, absently looking at the
Same spot on the wall. I would not recognise
Her if not the eyes, oblivious to the ache
That they caused in my heart years ago.

The rest in her body had changed, disguising
The pain of futile beliefs that hindered her
From becoming what she craved. “Matrimony,
parenthood, stability”, - she counted, as cigarette
Left her withered lips that I craved to kiss.

“I had time to let go and you don’t need to worry”.
Yet I loathed her as she spoke, reminiscing of
Walks by the seaside, lurking from the world, staring
At ships parting and going separate ways as sensation
Of our presence compounded with salty breeze.

“If we were vessels”, - she eventually said, still holding
Her gaze on the wooden wall, - “then what happened to us
Was a shipwreck. Yet I suffered gradually, without a smack,
With slow accretion of nostalgia, suffocating under the reefs.
That’s possibly what those purged from paradise used to feel”.

What endures after years of separation? Futile silence and
Tobacco smoke that filled my apartment, lit by lamp glare.
“All that remains then”, - I said, - “Is making love in thickets,
Yet dreaming that those are the groves of Eden”. I smiled,
As she broke the gaze from the wall and gave me a blank stare.
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