by Angus Grieve-Smith

On this bench.
A slight stretch and my arm would encircle
The woman I have seen so much in my daydreams.
But she would still be two overcoats and four shirts away.
I see the proud, gentle curve of a nose which was once pressed
Against my cheek.

A half-inch of ankle between jeans and socks,
And in this cold.

The contact we had, months ago:
How could it have happened only once?
Does that overcoat insulate against the
Hours of daydreams, the difficult nights?
And those eyes which I brush with my gaze,
As often as I feel I can,
Why don't the daydreams fall in?

Just two overcoats and four shirts,
And yet so far.

February 9, 1993