A girl has fallen
in love with him,
they are talking,
chastely touching –

But as he watches
close-up, her face
begins breaking, as if
fear is dissolving the pixels,
corroding her prettiness.
Watching intently,
he can’t move,
he is paralyzed.
She is nearly entirely gone
as he begins waking,
already missing her.

He descends the stairs.
Despite his routine –
assembling the kindling
in the hearth,
scratching the match –
the ache stays.


William Gilson





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