Not that it wasn’t hot

Not that it wasn’t hot the weather, because it was, and the young man was tired. Tired beyond caring he was. Leaning on a wall in a hall, considering an insufficient whim, for him, a love. For this, he needed one, and wished to be alone. There was all to gain by the young woman’s manner, with her wine and evening, sitting at a table, laughing in the kitchen with another man. And, while fanning herself proudly with his attention, she knew it; she knew it. He pretended not to watch her couldn’t find laughter in a corner. All was left hanging. A fern over a counter grayed as sun descended. A shadow he named unease, unanswered, unwanted, as a thing to be done. Pride. All he could do was abstain. A sunset wanted to grow, a fear talking; it was night that was naked, and no flower.

July 1972