Laura Sobbott Ross
He Never Called
I pass an apartment where twenty years ago
I spent the night with a guy who shared my birthday.
Toothpaste spackled in the corners of his mouth
that morning when we said goodbye.
My heart a smooth pebble I'd probed between
my fingers in the pocket of my black dress
as I drove past the same dandelion-shaped fountain,
thistled in a soft globe of spouting waters.
The floor beneath, anchored with a broken
rosary of copper coins,
the raised imprint of years vertigreed in rust.
What did I wish that morning before
I'd tossed it in, shine already wearing thin,
succession of something pearled sliding
across a snapped thread, a name
now I can't recall, obsidian as an O
etched on water skin and spreading
like a ripple from lip to concrete lip.