we are playing games
across the miles, Scrabble on the computer
building on each others words
a sort of improv two-author poem
in person, chess
we sit over her board, hand-carved wooded pieces
we both play slowly, carefully
considering each move
but as I steal glances at her
I am considering another game
where I win if I keep the spark of a possibility alive
in a space and time where circumstances aren't right for the fire
and no guarantee they ever will be
but with every single beat
every strand of muscle on the left side of my heart
the stronger side
says "love her...love her...love her"
but the right side
connecting to the lungs, to the breath, to the moment
whispers, regretfully, "not now...not now...not now"
so I try to wind between the tight boundaries
of too much said, and too little
how much can I say without saying?
a look, a smile
we finish the game
this chess game at least
and time to go
to last forever...
"not now...not now...not now"
and so I say farewell
and, with both sides of my heart, drive off into the night