How he had hoped his words might
turn a smile, eyes cast down to rise
and meet somewhere beyond

with something new to share. But
she hid her face behind her hand
instead – as he stared off, pursing

lips into a silent whistle, picturing
it all again, replaying and weighing
each enunciation, wondering why

space between their horses grew.
Portraits, not wide-looped long-shots,
but up-close expression zoomed

across the pen through loose reins, tight
ropes and smoke to the peripheral asides –
faces to later read between the lines.

February 6, 2011

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