by Elizabeth Hegwood

Under shifting high ceilings we can't afford, morning snow from our hair dampens the matted pillows. We've stumbled to this inn after breakfast in a barely-open café, where pipe-smokers eyed my red jeans and your American-boy parka, glowing in the frozen window. My swinging purse sent saucers tinkling to the tile and the copper-headed waitress flew over, swooping on the shatter, clutching clean forks like a handful of flowers. Smoothing a map over the booth-seat, you traced our trail through this city of bundled strangers while I pressed my thumb into the fluff of split vinyl and wondered if we'd want each other back home, in the exhale of patience. Familiar hands and full voices forget how we fit in a room of pale rain-light, burrowing a thin nest of layers, adding our own quiet tones to the street laced with whispers.