Is he aware? That I can hear him? That I stand alone, outside, in the dark, cobblestoned street? I see him in profile, seated in a small, tidy, featureless room, its walls and floor comprised of smooth plaster. The arched entry is doorless, nor is there glass in the similarly formed window. From my vantage, it seems the only furniture, the only adornment to the room, is the ladder-back chair he sits in; the only illumination is shed from a single candle on the windowsill. Warm light flickers, and shadows reach, grasp.
The chair he occupies is pressed up against the wall, just inside the doorway. He wears a collared, button-down shirt, linen pants crisply pleated, and a dark fedora. And he speaks. To someone beyond my line of view? To the empty room itself? His words punctuate the heavy air: “She’s smarter, stronger. Braver. Bolder…” Logically, matter-of-factly, impersonally — he states all the ways he prefers her to me.
As if I had ever been blissfully unaware of his feelings.
As if his every action had not always, ever, betrayed his opinion.
As if it could not ever, possibly have hurt.
— C.Birde, 5/17