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DINNER IN APRIL

Some make up names, dab make-up on subtly, kiss
or make up; we, we were made out of words, our faces
made out of washed photos, the bit of a self
hidden as pearls snapped shut in their oysters.

Now, sitting real across one another, between us
our pasts, their differences, an aquarium,
fish and red wine, your deafness: my fear
not to hear you, and words: names, titles, poets,

thoughts curious and swimming, we were not alone.
Did my music that made me in you become brittle?
and which of the faces I wore did you guess?
For I guessed none of yours,

yet I liked the beautiful one you had on,
best of them all.
Seems we were both made of little Bo peeps,
my voice getting over its cold

and your drawl, soft
as if spoken through water;
but we heard one another through the dim light,
the red sea fish, the empty shells on the plate.

      — Eytan Pessen