Howard Firkin
It only rains like this in summer when you’re visiting, she said,
and then said something clever to her friend. It went above my head.
They laughed like sea gulls squalling over ragged strips of bread.

You’re tall, she said. Can you adjust the kitchen clock? It’s fast again.
Six minutes fast. Enough to matter if you plan to die in ten;
enough to give us something else to talk about till then.

You left me here too long, she says, that’s why it’s so strange when we meet:
some things are really only over when you leave them incomplete.
She sets the table, smiles and says, Before you go, let’s eat.