between strangers on a train: sandalwood and wintergreen

The scent of you is wintergreen and sandalwood and when you jar me and my coffee–bitter nutty black–sloshes over and bubbles on the lid I feel it, your scent, caress my face an eternity before I hear your words.
“I’m sorry! Are you alright?”
Nothing. They mean nothing. You probably don’t mean it.
And yet…
The cool bahamian pools of your eyes slide gently from the cup to meet mine–bittersweet chocolate brown–and you wait.
The train stills.
Time waits.
You smile.
It begins again.
In my chest my heart hammers a thousand times over.
I imagine that you hear it, that it is the reason your eyes flutter closed.
That my heart is the music that moves you.

Six stops.
Six–a cloud of smoke enters and sticks to me. I stop breathing.
Five–smoke leaves. You stay. I breathe again.
Four–you smile again and our eyes lock for an age.
Three–the men perform and one holds out a hat and no one raises a brow and you don’t notice. You pretend not to.
Two–sandwiched between pantyhose and a three piece suit. Beneath the exhaust of them I perceive wintergreen.
One–I clutch the cool steel of the pole and you stand beside me, hand above mine.
My heart. You must hear it.
The doors open and you pause.
I do not.
I look back once.
Clinging to my clothing–sandalwood…
and wintergreen.


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