Subtext

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 01:17 -- estamp

Location

87110
United States
35° 6' 3.5676" N, 106° 34' 12.6948" W

The first time she tells me,
I stand at the baker’s table,
wrist deep in flour,
water, and cultures of yeast.

“Good job.”

My startled hazel lifts
to meet her calmer brown
and my eyebrows rise.

“Thanks?”

She leaves, and the scuffs of
her slippers slide away
from the silence
left behind.

The second time she tells me,
I stand at the stove with
sticky lard and chalky flour
clumped around my fingers.

“Good job.”

My eyebrows rise,
and so do the corners
of my mouth:

“Thanks!”

And she leaves again,
her calloused hands clasped
at the small of her back.

The last time she tells me,
I stand after Commencement
with my hands draped in
silky polyester.

“Good job.”

But this time, she stays.
Her hands reach for me,
and the raucous hooting
and frenetic cheering
mellows, and lessens,
distilling
into the sound of her heart
beating against my ear.

This time,
I choke out,

“I love you, too.”

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