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Katherine Barham Katherine Barham


A Winter Reunion

You spoke the words slowly; voice low, slightly guttural:
“Your eyes, sometimes, turn watery and dark.”

We were huddled over coffees in the booth
at the back of a dark cafe, while January's

refusals gathered outside. Instead of answering,
“Only when I'm lonely or sad” or “Is loving you

a fucking phenomenon?” I thought of San Francisco's
Seal Rock. Last November I scanned the bay

for any bobbing, sleek head to emerge
or cries from their stony haven.

No sign of them. Then, something sudden and black —
an arm, perhaps, or tossing, sun-washed head —

flashed from a high rock,

inviting me, now, to slide
from the booth's slick seat

into stupefying cold —
and glide beyond confusion, speech.